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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why Church?

I think it was the theologian Stanley Hauerwas who argued that following the liturgical year (i.e., Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and "Ordinary Time") is crucial for Christians because it reminds us that God's time is not the same as the world's time, that God's values are not necessarily the world's values. Doing so is somewhat analogous to the Jewish notion of sabbath, which holds that people of faith should regularly take a step back from the day-to-day concerns of the world and reconnect with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I heard a story this morning (in worship, no less) that drove the importance of "sabbath" home to me. Evidently, a woman who works in the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley was talking to her boss at 2:00 in the morning while breast-feeding her child, and when she announced that she had to hang up because she had to put her child to bed, her boss responded, "That's okay. Call me when you're done."

Attitudes such as this is why we need church (or synagogue, temple, mosque). We need a place or community to remind us that just because there are some in our midst who worship 80 hour work weeks, we don't have to.

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