Going to church is important to The Old Fool and he thinks he may have found out why. The Old Fool subscribes to a Word a day list offered by the Visual Theasurus. Today’s word was dogma, defined as a belief imposed by an authority, usually religious, without reason or evidence. Perhaps that is why The Old Fool enjoys the church experience so much. He doesn’t go to church as a scientist who looks for evidence but as a retired religious authority who enjoys analyzing the imposition of authority by other religious persons.
The Old Fool described this past Sunday’s service to a friend and she said “it was well planned.” In The Old Fool’s day as pastor, he was not much involved in the planning of the service. The songs were chosen by the song leader, etc. We let the Spirit do the planning. The Old Fool was often pleased with the way the old ways worked, but he thinks the way it is done now is better.
Always at CMC there is a well planned time for the children. This Sunday the children’s time opened with the dedication of a two and a half year old boy. His name was Harold, and he seemed to be aware of this special moment in his life. The Old Fool hopes he will remember it. He learned after the service that the boy’s father is from Nepal and his mother is from Columbia. They had met at Hesston College and are now at Goshen College.
The children were then told the story of Hannah and Samuel from the Hebrew scripture.
The children witnessed another special moment before they were dismissed. An eighth grade girl had chose a mentor from among the women of the congregation. Mentor, a smiling mentee, and her parents were introduced to the congregation, and these special relationships were blessed by the congregation.
In this series of posts, The Old Fool is trying to point out how difficult it is for the preacher of a sermon to take a congregation into a culture that is several millenia in the past. To do this the preacher ought always to take the life of Jesus into account because his coming made a big difference in understanding God and God’s will. The Old Fool considers it to be nigh impossible to preach faithfully without acknowledging the impact of the life of Jesus on the world .
This Sunday, the preacher did a masterful job of interpreting the story of Hannah and Samuel. He concluded the sermon by referring to similarities of the song of Hannah and the song of Mary the mother of Jesus..