We arrive at the first official week of our study with a post from Rev. Charles Brower, a pastor serving Community UMC in Nome, Alaska where the average high temperature this month is 16.8°F!
Below, Sage District Superintendent Rev. Karen Hernandez also shares resources for groups (and churches) to consider for Watchnight services to mark the crossing over into 2019.
Over 570 people have signed up to receive these weekly posts as we work our way together through Brian McLaren's book, "We Make the Road by Walking." In gratitude, we acknowledge that some of those same people are leading groups undertaking this study in local churches across the Greater Northwest Area. Thank you!
What can I believe?
By Rev. Charles D. Brower
CrossOver reflection for
· Beginning December 2, 2018
Daniel 7:9b-10a (NIRV)
"His clothes were as white as snow.
... And flames were all around its wheels.
A river of fire was flowing. It was coming out in front of God.
Thousands and thousands of angels served him."
A worldwide flood with only two of each type of animal surviving?
A burning bush not consumed by flame?
A sea parting so a people can escape slavery?
Early missionaries to Alaska met a people used to hearing tales of feats by the shamans making these Bible stories easy to believe. The locals had heard of shamans' interstellar travels or of their experiences changing into spirit animals.
Ever wonder how the concept of a Promised Land might sound to an indigenous person hearing a missionary expound promises of a life eternal? Then to hear that same promise followed by an uncertainty of when that fulfillment might happen?
What might be our response today to stories we deem hard to believe? Do the stories in the Bible challenge our faith; do the stories seem impossible?
Rev. Charles Brower is an Inupiaq serving Nome's Community United Methodist Church. Social justice, homelessness, and high poverty challenge this mission church.