Central United Methodist Church
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Endicott, New York
Pastor's Corner


I was just re-reading one of my favorite authors, Ralph Milton. In his book Angels With Red Suspenders, he has one story I’d love to share with you. It’s about what we’re supposed to be about as the church, and I go back to it every time I get bogged down in details, or I get too comfortable in my work. It helps to remember the nature of what we are about. It’s called “Dangerous Goods:”



The whole thing got blown to smithereens. And a good thing, too, because it contained dangerous goods. Subversive stuff. Explosive materials. The folks in the neighborhood around Erskine Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario called the bomb squad. There was a mysterious package on the front steps of the church, and it had been sitting there for 12 hours.  It didn’t seem to have any identifying marks. No telling what it contained. No wonder the neighbors got twitchy and called the cops. They were good neighbors and they did the right thing.



            The bomb squad tried to X-ray the ominous looking bundle, but that didn’t work. Only one thing to do.  Bring in the bazookas and blow the thing up. Bam!



            When the last piece of paper floated to the ground, they discovered what it was.  Curriculum. Church school curriculum called The Whole People of God from a company called Wood Lake Books. The courier had delivered it early in the morning, dropped it label down on the steps, and left. 



            The bomb squad did the right thing. I know that curriculum pretty well—even had a hand in publishing it—and blowing it sky high is the only proper way to dispose of it. It is full of subversive ideas like “love your enemies” and “love is more important than power,” and “be fair to each other, especially the folks at the bottom of the heap,” and “it is better to give than to receive,” and “justice shall flow like a river…”



            Ideas like that should be blown to smithereens, because if people ever took them seriously, they would turn the world upside down.



What we know and the Godlife we lead can turn the world upside down. The Jesus message is life-giving and life-transforming. And, as the church, we get to be part of it—we are a part of it, thanks be to God!



Still in One Peace,