April 18, 2021
The Only Choice That Really Matters
Question of the Week
Where in your life are you intentionally cultivating quiet witness to the Kingdom of God?
We were walking the tree canopied trails on the east side of Mount Sequoyah, slowly, talking and listening. This was years ago when I was in seminary and in the process of becoming a certified spiritual director. We stopped at a turn in a rock, rooted trail and I asked if he wanted to enter into the process of direction if he felt he needed it. Chris looked straight at me and responded “yes, it’s a matter of life and death.”
Yesterday, maybe eight years after that walk on the side of Sequoyah, I presided over the memorial service for Chris, who died by suicide some two weeks earlier. A matter of life and death indeed.
Friends, we are constantly being given the invitation to life by the God who created and loves us. But here’s the deal, this is not an invitation we can ignore without consequences. And when God makes clear those consequences, it’s not a malicious or coercive act, but one of love.
Maybe this will let us see with new eyes?
Grace and peace y’all,
J. Ray and the teaching team
The Big Idea: Choices have consequences, and all of us are always choosing.
Take Away: God doesn’t show us the consequences of our choices to scare, shame, bribe or overwhelm us, but to invite us more fully into our humanity and set us on the path of wholeness.
How does this fit with "Belong, Become, Believe"?
Extending hospitality to others is the natural result of experiencing the unqualified and exceptionless invitation of Jesus to belong in God. How can we do anything else? This belonging is what guides our choices and gives us clarity on the consequences of those choices and how they affect our formation as individuals and as a community. All of this is guided by our confession of what we believe and aspire to; true, good and beautiful.