Pastor Pondering 10/18
What I’ve been reading
I haven’t gotten to all the books that I had plan to read this summer, but I did read some great books. One of them is Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Phibrick. (2016) a NY Times bestseller. It tells the story of just how close we came to losing the revolutionary and the war for independence
“We all know the story: how a defiant and undisciplined collection of citizen soldiers banded together to defeat the mightiest army on earth. But as those who lived through the nearly decadelong saga of the American Revolution were well aware, that was not how it actually happened, “writes Philbrick. One of the greatest heroes of the struggle turned out to have very nearly brought about the collapse of the whole experiment and the people who called for liberty and independence had to find a way to band themselves together and make the sacrifice that was called for to be a new nation. The tension that was present during this period pitted families and states and armies against one another. It’s a fascinating story that actually resonates with the current division and divisiveness we see around us these days. It ain’t easy to be united!
On the face of it, this is not a theological book at all. But as a pastor, I see that it has much to say about what it means for people to come together and become a community with a common purpose. Community and nationhood requires that individuals respond to some higher value than their own self-interest. We see this as people respond with compassion and generosity as others face flooding and damage from recent hurricanes. We see this also when we recognize that God calls us to a common life together in Jesus Christ. Pastor Shannon has been helping us to see that in our baptism vows, we can see such a higher calling spelled out.
See you in church.