In my youth, I cheered for the Minnesota Vikings and the defensive line known as “The Purple People Eaters.” This article is NOT about that. Instead, I’m going to broach the issue of politics in this era of division between red and blue. As we probably all learned with our first box of watercolors, blue and red, when combined, make purple. It seems to me that the church in our age, needs to think about being purple instead of red or blue.
Last week marked the “halfway point” in my time as Pastoral Intern here at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. As part of the Word & Sacrament Internship process required by the Seminary and the ELCA, I spent the better part of the weekend working on a “Midpoint Evaluation”, which consisted of numerous short answer essays that called me to reflect on the ways in which my pastoral competency has grown and to determine the “growing edges” where I want to focus additional effort and attention during the second half.
When my son was a teenager, he had some friends over to the house on a Saturday afternoon. As the afternoon became evening, he announced, “You’ll all need to leave soon because tomorrow is church.” To which one of his comrades (who didn’t know what I did for a living) responded, “Why go to church? They’re all just hypocrites.” My son answered, “Well, duh.” I was proud. My son had learned that church was a place where people who were “simultaneously sinners and saints” (Luther) hung out.
In Luke 12:51 Jesus asks a question: “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?” His answer is startling. “No, I tell you, but rather division!” He goes on to say that families will come to an end because of him. Jesus creates a crisis.