I’ve often thought there are at least two kinds of courage. One is the immediate and situational courage of the person who, in a moment of extreme need, summons the courage to face an imminent danger. I think of the anonymous person who jumped down into the subway tracks in New York City to pull out my elderly aunt, who had fallen just moments before a train was to arrive.
Or the proverbial soldier who falls on a hand grenade to save his platoon. Such courage is not actually just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing; it’s a display of character, an accumulation of traits and beliefs, training and patterns of behavior that have been developed and exercised over the long span of life, preparing one to act courageously in any given moment.
The second kind of courage is, for me, even more impressive. This one identifies a significant, or even daunting, challenge and turns, not away from it, but to meet it head on. This is also a matter of character – character that has emerged from a lifetime of facing fears and solidifying commitments. This kind of courage requires resilience, perseverance and hope. It’s the second kind of courage we’ll explore in worship this weekend.
I plan to speak plainly, concessionally, and truthfully about our call as Christians to bravely address the systemic problems in our society.
You can read this passage
from Jeremiah in preparation. You can also prepare by setting a communion table in your home and joining us as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
With prayers for our country and world.