Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reverence for Life

I was thinking again about the life and work of Albert Schweitzer, who was a musician/doctor/biblical scholar. He and his wife spent the last few decades of their lives running a hospital in Africa. The great principal and deepest conviction that moved Schweitzer was his "reverence for life," which he felt was at the heart of faith. For Schweitzer, communing with and honoring the Creator of all life went hand in hand with having a deep feeling and respect for all life, whether human or other life. One's relationship to all of his or her fellow creatures was important and sacred, according to Schweitzer.

This Sunday we will sing: "Morning Has Broken," which is a beautiful hymn praising our Creator and celebrating the wonder of life in this world and the presence of God in all parts of the creation.

It seems very important to me that children learn to have reverence for life, which means concern for all creatures. One memory that really stands out in my childhood is how much it bothered my mother when she hit a squirrel one day as we were driving around in the car. It really bothered her; and,so it really bothered me and my sister as well. That's what I mean about teaching our children about reverence for life. I also remember worrying over and trying to nurse a bird back to health who had flown into one of our windows. Things like this matter more than we might think.

If we feel we are just too important as human beings to consider the lives of animals as important, it shows an arrogance towards our fellow creatures and a lack of gratitude towards the Creator for life itself.

And, in this reverence for life, we certainly carry a deep feeling for our fellow human beings. I drove past the Salvation Army on Tuesday, and noticed a woman, a man, and four children (looked like ages from 2-8 years). They looked like a family that was living in a homeless shelter. I particularly noticed the older child, a girl of around 8 years old. I wondered about what it must be like for her attending, or trying to attend a local school next week.

And, we notice families torn by violence and drug/alcohol abuse. And, we experience that sometimes very close to home. Having a reverence for life causes us to care about these things that happen to others and to us. Having a love of life causes us to expect something better for others and for ourselves. Because life is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed, not simply endured.

But, there are times when life feels heavy,and there are times when the bearing of it takes all the strength a human being has from God. And, whether life is full of joy or sorrow, it has dignity, a dignity given by the Creator in whom we live and move and have our being.

No comments:

Post a Comment