Our sermon series for the month of February is titled “Navigating Faith’s Tensions.” In every generation, followers of Jesus have to navigate their way through a variety of faith tensions: caring for individual needs versus caring for community needs; engaging redemptively in difficult relationships versus maintaining healthy boundaries; enjoying God-given freedoms versus curtailing freedoms for the greater good; practicing time-honored traditions versus pursuing healthy innovations
Note that these tensions are not like trying to make a straightforward moral choice, such as lying or stealing. Rather, these are choices that require discernment and fair-minded judgment. Like the poem of Ecclesiastes 3, which reflects on how there is a time and season for everything, some decisions require the ability to discern what season it is along with the appropriate corresponding behavior.
Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13:52 describes a similar kind of discernment: “…every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” In every generation, the Church has to wrestle with this tension. In today’s church, we too are to bring out treasures new and old: the rich wealth of tradition and Scripture along with the bold and distinctive kingdom vision of Jesus. May God grant us wisdom and discernment for our times!
February 6: Navigating Faith’s Tensions
February 13: Firm Center, Soft Edges
February 20: Muddling Through the Imperfect Present
February 27: Living in the Tension