Sunday, July 31, 2011
A Summer Evening 2011 (by Judy)
The following is inspired in part by today’s sermon at my church. My pastor, Alistair Begg, has a wonderful way of incorporating daily events into the Gospel message. If you don’t know his preaching, you can google Truth for Life, for he is on the radio around the country – or if you are ever in northeast Ohio, come visit us at Parkside Church.
Last night we went to a Cleveland Indians game at the invitation of friends. Though my husband was very excited, I was more looking forward to a lovely summer evening outside, the good company, and even a taste of hot dog and peanuts in the shell. Though I thought I knew baseball, it was very clear that I was an outsider. I had no idea who the players were, I didn’t understand the scoreboard graphics, and I even was confused by the language – especially the phrase “a walk-off home run” referring to a hit by a player on the home team in the bottom of the ninth which puts the team ahead, and the game is over – everyone walks off.
As I kept asking questions, I began to feel distinctly like an outsider – “you are not part of the group; if you were, you would know what is going on; you don’t speak our language and you don’t understand what we are excited about.” I am exaggerating a bit, for my husband is very kind – but my mind wandered to the nasty situation in Washington, and our tendency to generalize about people and draw unkind and stereotypical conclusions. Surely you know what I mean, dear readers. May guess is that you have fallen into that trap recently, just as I have.
I am not going to refer to the Bible in this blog entry, but rather to a recent column by a New York Times columnist. His name is Nicholas Kristof, and he is well known as a humanitarian, not a church-goer. It is an excellent read – a tribute to one of the sweetest and brightest theologians of our generation – and also a reminder that evangelicals, and everyone else with thought-out opinions, deserves respect, not a dismissal. Here goes – I hope the link works from this blog. And I am going to mention a Bible story after all – the parable of the Good Samaritan. Also worth a read - it is about a man who crosses the road (aisle) to offer a hand of compassion.