The tension of Freedom and the Common Good
This is one of those days when all the tensions of personal freedom come front and center. I love our country and that we have endeavored to provide a place that provides liberty and self-direction. But I am reminded that there are limits. As much as we value liberty, we are not truly free to do whatever we want. Nor would we want to live in a place like that. We all give up some of our liberty for the sake of the common good.
We give up some privacy for the sake of security. We give up some personal money for the sake of collective services that benefit all. And we give up our ability to choose whatever we want to do, when our actions have consequences for those around us.
The place where we wrestle, fight, and scream at each other is where the lines on those continuums fall. None of us wants total, self-determined freedom. We all want to live in a society whose members value each other and take responsibility not only for their own interests but for the interests of all its members. We know there is an inherent good in collective responsibility, so we are willing to sacrifice some liberty and some personal choice for the sake of others. May God give us ever more humility, compassion, and wisdom as we live together around issues like marriage, taxes, abortion, and immigrants. God help us.
My Grandma Dupler died this morning.
She lived a really good life and was so excited to be with Jesus. I will miss playing Uno and going for walks. She was a bit of a food nut and I loved her ‘really healthy’ bread. Laurel and I often baked her recipe when we first got married. She was faithful to be at graduations and my wedding. I know that she prayed for me every day… and that it made a difference.
I finally saw Les Miserables last night.
I was a wreck. Just bawled. When Laurel and I came out of the theater, someone from our church was in the lobby and I couldn’t even put words to describe what happened to me. Still can’t.
I am somewhere between the poignant horror of how we can dispose of humanity as seen in Fantine, the gut-wrenching loss of friends for Marius, the Gospel picture of rescue and deliverance as Valjean carried Marius through the sewers of Paris [You want to know what incarnation is?? That’s it.], the inability to receive grace as seen in Javert, and the climactic end where Fantine and the Bishop welcome him into heaven. So many themes of redemption and so, so sad.
I can’t believe people will watch this movie but not go to church….
Life Around Restoration–
On Sunday we will close all of our small groups, so if you still haven’t signed up… seriously?
And then on February 3, we’ll close registration for the women’s retreat— we’ve got scholarship money, people you want to hang out with, and a chance to get out of town for the weekend. If you are still trying to decide… let me push you off the fence. You’ll love it.
Mark your calendar for February 12. Pancakes and Parish Meeting. We want to show you the new building design. We want to tell you about the transition to our temporary space on April 7. And we want to update you on vision and finances. We’ll start eating at 6:30 and start talking at 7:30. If this is your church home, this is your family meeting.