I am a member of a UCC church – United Church of Christ, a blend of Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed denominations. We roll fairly liberal, siding with progressive just-causes and civil equality since the mid-17th century. Some may think this makes us “Christianity-lite.” Others don’t think much of us at all, lumping us in with the large, dark thunderclouds of an American Christianity that can seem, well, scary.
Whatever your ju-ju happens to be, or none at all, is not a grave concern of mine. I happen to dig the philosophy of Jesus, simple stuff that it is. I’ve never sat at the right hand of God, so I can’t say for sure who’s right or wrong about what, only that if we keep listening, we might find that God is still speaking.
Full disclosure: “God is still speaking” is a national branding campaign of the United Church of Christ. It is an effort to portray welcome and hospitality to all people, wherever they are on their faith journey.
In the last few weeks, the business of freelance writing has become quite busy for me. I am fortunate to have earned upcoming feature space in a local weekly newspaper and two recent assignments brought me into contact with two extraordinary women.
Both of these women made it clear during their interviews with me that The Big Man Upstairs* has a lot to do with the amazing turns of events in their lives. (*This is an endearment that my sister-in-law uses, and even I in my modernism can like it without getting all bunched up over the gender and location of God. Please, just go with it.)
With open hearts, these women continue to hear the voice of God in their lives. As the humble interviewer, scribbling away on my notepad, I can’t help but hear whispering, too. After interviewing the second woman, and a great same-day conversation about religion with a different sister-in-law, I am left pondering… “Okay, God, what are you trying to tell me?”
I don’t have an answer for you yet. In fact, I might not share it with you even when I do, because it will be whatever The Big Guy-Mother Earth-Infinite Energy is saying to me, and I tend to disfavor cramming private messages down anyone’s throat.
Listen within your own corner of paradise; you might be surprised at what you hear.