In the days after my grandmother died, my aunts introduced me to Iris DeMent's song “Let the Mystery Be." As is true for many people, from the early years of Christian faith, the loss of one dear to me sparked wonderings about what happens after death. I have fuzzy, 15-year-old memories of one of my aunts thinking aloud about the possibility of reincarnation, and older family members assuring us all that my grandmother was sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Every pastor needs to
address the issue of freedom and accountability. It's part of the pastor's role
in nurturing a church community: neither a laissez-faire atmosphere nor a
judicial one helps people grow as disciples.
God grants astonishing freedom to creatures who bear the imago dei. The Arab Spring is only the latest evidence of the human desire for freedom. What's more, and far more awkward in a culture of autonomous freedom like ours, is that the God who gives us freedom also holds us accountable for what we do with this gift.
Elections produce overwhelming hope or overwhelming disappointment. On the Wednesday morning after a national election, one half of the country wakes up disappointed with the other half. If it’s our candidate who’s won, we celebrate the new day dawning. In defeat we ruminate, despairing for the future and wondering bitterly about fraud.