Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Throughout January, our sermons engaged the topic of faith and science. The sermons have been enjoyable to write, as have the conversations with some of you that have come out of these sermons. I have been blessed by our dialogue.
In concert with this sermon series, I have been interviewing members of our church whose education and vocation are in the sciences for a series of podcasts, and I have to say, I have enjoyed these conversations as much as anything I have ever done in pastoral ministry.
Ever since I was ordained, I have wondered how people of science hear my sermons, how you experience the scriptures, the miracle stories, and the sacraments. To actually sit down with scientists and discuss these topics has been such a tremendous blessing. What I am learning is that those of you with a science background seem to wrestle with the same texts that I do and are blessed by the same scriptures that especially bless me. The community aspects of church are important to you, and you are moved by the pursuit of truth incumbent upon all disciples of Jesus Christ. You are open to mystery and wonder, and you are not hindered by the fact that there are some aspects of scripture that we may never be able to fully explain from a scientific standpoint.
Having said all of that, there is one vitally important trend that I noticing in these interviews, one we ignore at our peril. My conversations have been with diverse people from a variety of the sciences, people with varying experiences of God, what each person who has spoken to me has in common is that they were raised in the church from childhood as regular church attenders.
This may seem minor and obvious and yet it is of the utmost importance, for I am learning just how important it is that these women and men had a firm foundation of faith to build upon as they became adults and faced both the blessings and challenges of adult life as well as how they experienced their academic experience.
I know how difficult it can be to get children to church, especially on an early Sunday morning. I know this because my wife tells me so (this is something she has to do since I arrive at church before sunrise). And yet, this sometimes challenging labor is not just a weekly activity; it is an investment in our children, one that pays great dividends in the kind of adults they will become in whatever vocation to which God calls them. While we may seldom see the fruits of our labor right away, they are there, and the fruit of our labor is what Paul calls “the fruit of the Spirit.”
These podcasts are still being recorded, so if you are interested in participating, let me know. I will make them available shortly, and I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I am enjoying making them.
See you on Sunday,