Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor Day 2004

Last night I attended Mosaic here in Atlanta for the second time. It was a different experience this time. No hearing the word read aloud. They're doing a series on heroes of the Bible and started off with Job. Such a tough book to tackle all in one night. The basic premise given by the speaker was that the whole thing was a test for Job and that he had to endure the test to prove himself...or at least that's a quick summary of it. I was particularly bothered by the speaker's notion that all bad things that happen to us and to others are tests from God...tests to show how strong our faith is or how we will handle adversity. I don't buy that. I think that awful things happen in the world and there's no good explanation, and that God has nothing to do with them. So much is a consequence of God's decision to give us choice...choice that leads to a sinful, broken world. Unfortunately we didn't really hear much about grace in the talk last night. Plus, God's words/questions from the whirlwind were interpreted as a sort of rebuke. I don't read them that way. The language is so beautiful and lovely and articulate. I hear grace and love in those words...grace and love from the creator of all things...from the God who seeks relationship with us.
All of that being said, I was again impressed with the warm welcome we received. The community there is definitely strong...great fellowship. We invited those present to go to dinner across the street afterward. Many of them came and dined with us. It was a great eucharistic moment. I think we may have branched out and found a new subset of friends to spend time with occasionally. All in all, I fell very welcomed by this community. In the long run, I wonder if theological differences might cause me to move in different directions, but for now I'm enjoying the experience of emergent church.