Pastor's Blog

Soul Rest

Here we are in the month of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty - already! How’s it going for you so far? While I hope you are doing well in the pursuit of your New Year’s resolutions (if you had the courage to make any), and that you have had some pleasant surprises thus far, I’ll bet if I asked how many of you are feeling behind schedule, under the gun or overwhelmed (or all of the above), I would see quite a show of hands.

As we head into this third month of the new year, possibly already searching for the pause or rewind button on the VCR of life (for those of you under 30, you can Google “VCR”), I would like to spend a few moments reflecting on the familiar words of Jesus recounted in Matthew’s gospel,

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matt. 11.28-30). 

Apocalypse Now?

Is this the end? Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest throughout the country and the entrenched political polarization, I have had this question posed to me on more than one occasion. And now as I sit down to write this article, I am watching the attack on the Capitol Building with horror and disbelief that this is happening in the United States of America. Is this the end, indeed? 

When I look up synonyms for the word, apocalypse, the suggestions I get are destruction, disaster, catastrophe, Armageddon and Judgement Day. This word that comes to us almost without change from the Greek – apokalypsis – has most comprehensively come to mean, the end of the world. 

Who Is My Neighbor?

In light of the upcoming election, the “threat” of alien hordes at our borders and the continuing political, racial and religious divisiveness and violence in our country, it seems like a good time to revisit our mission statement.

Here’s the full version: “Central Congregational Church of La Mesa exists to be a diverse, inter-generational church that worships, fellowships and serves together in the name of Jesus for the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors near and far."

The short version is, “For the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors near and far.”

The shorter version is simply, “For the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors.”

A Question of Citizenship

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon of late. While citizenship, immigration and national borders are being hotly contested and defended, there is a concurrent,  growing interest -- at least in more affluent countries -- in our personal ethnic, racial and geographical heritage. Due to the availability of low cost in-home DNA testing, we can now receive a kit in the mail, use the included Q-tip type instrument to swab our cheek for a saliva sample, mail said instrument back to the company, and within a short time receive quite extensive results as to where we came from with percentages of our ethnic and racial makeup -- full color charts and graphs included.

Transformative Communty

In June of 2007, after many years of starts and stops, I finally completed the requirements for my master’s program and received my degree. My master’s thesis was a directed reading focusing on the works of Lesslie Newbigin, a highly influential missionary, pastor and world church leader in the middle to late 20th century.