From the Pastor January 2016

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors.  His books were among the first I picked up and started reading for pleasure as a young(er) man, and I still turn to them from time to time to help me feel sane and centered in this complicated world.  

 

I think he would find it amusing that he, an avowed atheist, would find such favor with an ordained minister; I see it as a sign that God can and will work through anyone, including non-believers.  God’s work and God’s word is all around us, including, but not limited to, church.

 

Take this Vonnegut quote, for example:

 

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

It sounds to me like the old benediction:

 

“Go out into the world in peace. Have courage! Hold fast to what is good. Return no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, help the suffering. Honor all people. Love and serve the Lord your God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Vonnegut doesn’t mention the power of the Holy Spirit, of course, but I believe it’s in his words, if we know where to look.  The Holy Spirit helps us to stay soft and loving, to turn bitterness into sweetness, to see the world as a beautiful place even in the midst of ugliness.  

 

Vonnegut doesn’t believe he’s speaking about God, but I do, because I believe that there is nothing that is separate from God.  All through Advent, I preached about looking for, being aware of, the kingdom of God that is already all around us.  I plan to continue to preach that perspective in the new year.  

 

Peace,

 

Matt

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