For instance, this last Sunday my father invited me to come with him to help out at a worship service held in a nursing home for the residents there. The worship was led by different rotating preachers (actually all laymen who have other jobs during the week but spend their sundays preaching the Word to the folks at the center) for whoever would attend. That Sunday there were about 10 folks there, some mobile but most in wheel chairs. Some black, some white, some who were very conversant and sharp in their thinkings, others who you couldn’t understand clearly but you could see the joy in their eyes.
Those folks on that Sunday came to that time of “church” because they believed, and this wasn’t some week-kneed faith, but rather a fierce faith, a determined faith. They loved God and that was all there was to it. They weren’t so concerned with the nuances of theology or anything like that, but what they did care about was that time on Sundays to spend with God and to spend with fellow sisters and brothers who shared the same faith.
I guess to me, I appreciate those who stretch my thinking theologically and challenge my presuppositions but I also in the end have to ask how will it translate? What does this teaching or this idea mean for the folks in that nursing home? What would this thing mean to folks who are living in poverty, to folks who have suffered police brutality or discrimination in the work place? Where is the hope in this teaching?
To me, that is what religion in the end must be about hope… that and love.