(A newsletter column for Trinity Lutheran Church, Nampa)
Dear Friends in Christ,
Trivia and faith. Many of you have heard me talk about Trivia Night at the Flying M Coffee Garage. This has become a kind of ritual for me, a weekly event I can count on with a second family. Our team is made up of Lutherans, Methodists, Nazarenes, Episcopalians and a Done (someone done with the church). We work in congregations, NNU, and one of us is retired. Does this sound familiar? Often times I hear people describe their faith communities the same way. Both include a place to be refreshed, a people to whom I belong, something I can return to each week, though I won’t be judged if I have to miss occasionally. Each of us brings something to the table (always trivia, sometimes knowledge, rarely wisdom) and we have to work together. We usually place in the top three teams so we often celebrate at the end of the evening. This is your pastor’s newsletter article so you know what’s coming next—what is different between Trivia Night and faith lived out in Christian Community? Yes, there are some absolutes in Christianity but, at least in our tradition, there is a great deal of interpretation (of both scripture and tradition) and we are faced with, and hopefully come to relish, mystery (case in point—the name of our congregation is Trinity—something Christians have been confessing and simultaneously trying to explain for centuries). What’s good about mystery in a culture that likes to separate black and white (metaphorically and literally), right and wrong, inside and outside, holy and unholy? The world outside of Trivia Night holds a lot of ambiguity and questions and it’s freeing to me that when it comes to my faith, I don’t have to figure it all out; it’s not an expectation because it is not possible. At the same time, I am completely loved and forgiven by the Triune God. There are perhaps more and less faithful ways to worship and serve in this broken world but it is enough to keep growing and encouraging one another to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. And in the end, it is the Holy Spirit (another wonderful mystery), not you or me, who is doing the working, the ministry. That is something to celebrate.