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The Journey

Quivers of Hope

Scripture: Psalm 127

I sit reading countless news stories and a few blogs speaking about various aspects of the recent election. Many saying they know why things went the way they did. Let’s be honest about what we are seeing, we have a contemporary clashing of the pharisees and the saducees. Both of which say they are the one that is for us, the truth they are about as much for us as your boss is.

I say this because so many of us that call ourselves followers of Christ have become consumed by these factions. I like many of you have my own opinions about which way the country should go, but I do know that God does not give any points to us for political affiliation. I don’t mean to speak politics, but the scripture I read today and the news of the past few days is coming together into one crazy thought processes that will probably upset everyone that reads it.

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build labor in vain. Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. This really hit home with me today. How much time,energy, and money have the “Christian Right” and “Christian Left” spent on issues? Only to have their efforts come up short and empty? We boldly say that God is on our side and we give several points and proof texts to prove our cases. 

Unless the Lord builds the house, unless the Lord guards the city; what does that mean to us today? Are we confusing our labor and watch with that of God’s? We worry, watch, and work but we seem to forget that it is God that allows us to do theses things. Jesus says, do not worry because it cannot add a day to our life. In contrast, the Psalmist tells us, “Happy is the man whose quiver is full of [sons].”

The family is a place of comfort and safety, a place where you grow and are encourage. Well at least ideally. But the family has been skewed in our ever changing culture. It is no longer surrounded by white fenses with a dog happily barking as the father comes in from work at a scheduled time. Once a family was parents, siblings, grandparent and cousins all living in the same comunity, now our families are spread across the nation if not the world. We as humans need a family of some sort, we need that support, comfort, encouragment, and safety so we find it else where. If we were to rewrite this passage in our current culture instead of sons it might read friends. Friends built around something in common.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. God is building these communities of friends all around us. They are being built wherever people gather, share their faith and encourage each other. I have seen these communities and families being build everywhere I go, that might be because I am a pastor. But I am sure you have seen aspects of this where you go as well. I have had a meeting of friends around the cheese cooler in the local grocery store, where God was praised and people encouraged. I have participated in a cross-cultural meeting around a breakroom table while sharing sacramental coffee. The church and the family are both changing in this cultural shift. But God is building a house.  We saw very similar in the second and third centuries, where families were fractured and new families were built in Christ.

As we look into the future what do we see? Are we filled with excitment or dread? When I look forward I am filled with hope and anticipation. I am excited because we no longer live in a “Christian” culture. This may strick you as odd, but I see is as a great opportunity God is building something. Just as He built, guarded, and filled communities with friends in those early years of the church. God has put us here for such a time as this! Let us seek Him, let us build with Him, and let us fill our quivers with friends and dump the out the arrows of division. Let us as we pray and look foward into our collective futures get excited about the many ways we can serve God and love our neighbors.

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About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.

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Jared A. Warner

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