I could see she was on edge. She shared that the night before she had learned of the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer for a close friend. Their kids grew up together. They took family vacations together. His wife is one of her best friends. “I usually don’t want to go against God on most things but this time, I want to fight him,” she said.
Over the past 20-plus years in my own faith journey, the Bible’s anthropology has taken primacy for me over its theology, providing a crucial reason for the importance of covenant to salvation. René Girard’s work proposes that what has “saved” us as a species—thus far—are the false gods of our own unconscious creation.
This month, we at Old South, the congregation I serve, are celebrating the 225th anniversary of the gathering of Congregationalists in Hallowell, Maine. As we contend with another very snowy Maine winter, and the piles of snow that have just about completely covered the primary entry door of our sanctuary building (when we are able to have worship this winter, we are meeting in the parish house across the street), it’s almost overwhelming to think about the difficulties of starting a church in the midst of winter in Maine.
At a recent Sunday worship service, someone quipped, “If there’s one time of year when you really need God, this is it.”