What is the greatest baseball team in Texas? The Houston Astros of course!
I may have already caused you to stop reading or at least upset you. In the DFW metroplex the Texas Rangers are clearly a favorite, but for me that Houston Astros are a much better team. I could go into a lengthy discussion about statistics and win records this year, but most likely that won’t change your mind. How can you be so resistant to logic and reason? Well, it is not that you are delusional or that you don’t know good baseball. It is that my approach in this conversation is flawed.
I am engaging in a one-way conversation, where I am able to state what I believe and why, but I am not giving you the opportunity to respond or myself the opportunity to listen. Unfortunately, we engage in these sort of flawed conversations daily. Most often this takes place in social media like Twitter and Facebook, but it can even happen at work, in our homes, schools and other places. It is important for us to have conversations that are reciprocal, where we share just as much as we listen. When we do this we not only have the opportunity to share about what we find important but also give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow by listening to others. This reciprocal conversation can still lead to arguing, but it is valuable none-the-less.
What does it matter that I believe the Houston Astros are better than the Texas Rangers? Why do we even argue about these things? Well, we tend to argue in support of what we believe, love, and find important. That is why I have another belief that I would like to share with you (and maybe we can have a reciprocal conversation about this later!) I believe that the old maxim, politics and religion should not be discussed at the dinner table, must be put to rest.
For the longest time it has been considered bad etiquette to discuss controversial issues like politics and religion at the dinner table. Doing so causes discomfort and unpleasantness at a generally pleasant occasion. I believe that discussions such as these are important. If you cannot share what you believe with the people you call family or friends, then where can you? Having conversations about politics and religion in a loving environment can nurture healthy ways to discuss these topics in other places, as well as give us the opportunity to know more about each other.
This Sunday, August 18th, we will be reading from Luke 12:49-53, where Jesus tells his disciples that following him will lead to discord not peace. Seriously? Discord not peace? Isn’t Jesus, the Jesus we call the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)?
Yes, that is true, but if you read elsewhere (John 14:27), you will read that peace that Jesus gives us is not the peace that the world wishes to give. Come and discover with us this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Sunday school and 10:30 AM for worship how discord leads us towards paths of righteousness and justice.
In God’s grip,
Pastor Chuck Church