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I tell them the same thing each time I stand before a new class. I’m not sure they believe me. Not sure they can. I tell them that I’m here learning along with them this week. I tell them our class is going to be a dialog, not a monolog. I tell them that I’m still learning; that the more I learn, the more I become aware of how much I don’t know.


But they still want me to have the answers, the answer.


I get it. I want answers too. I want to know so I can avoid making the same mistakes time and time again. I want to know so the ones who have so many hurts can find peace, the ones drifting along can find a purpose, the ones who have given up can experience hope that raises desire from the dead.


After all, we’ve been doing this Christianity thing for more than two thousand years now. We ought to have learned a thing or two along the way, right?


But it seems as much as we’re convinced we need answers, the last place we are willing to look is within our own story. If it’s not “new”, it’s not relevant. If it’s not “innovative”, it’s uninspired.


When my kids were in that picky stage of childhood, they would turn up their noses and dismissively call leftovers “used food.” I see the same attitude towards our history time and time again.


But it takes serious courage, discipline and a strong stomach for admitting mistakes, even tragic ones, to really learn from our history. It doesn’t intragram well. It’s slow and ambiguous and sobering. But it’s worth it friends, it’s really worth it.


So take some time to stop, listen and be present. Present to what is now, yes, but also present to what has come before, what has gotten us to where we are.


Grace and peace,



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