This past Sunday, wehad a great glocal Epiphany worship service led by Grant Applehans. This is Grant. He's fantastic. Grant invited another Luther Seminary student (William Obaga)along for the ride. William brought along his friend. Friends of friends of friends. William is from Kenya and taught us a song in Swahili (which we rocked) (he said so). Grant did a short interview with him--and we found out his home church grew from 50 to 400 in four years.I asked him, "So, William...we are a mission church. Instruct us. Any tips for Humble Walk?" He said it's a good idea to give everyone a job. Like, make everyone part of the choir. And then in order for the choir to have someone to sing to...they should bring a friend along next week. Then you make THEM part of the choir. See where this is headed? 400, baby. Bam...you are all the HW choir.
The next morning, I took Elsa to a local rec center for preschool open gym. I got into a long conversation with a grandpa (there with his grandchild) who is visiting from Sweden. A bit of small talk and then he said, "I find people here are very religious." Hmmm. Where will this go, I wonder. I laughed and said, "Well, as it turns out, I am a Lutheran pastor." He said he is an atheist. A confident atheist, actually. "I think it's easier for you. Because you believe there is something beyond the grave. That would be easier. For me, this is it."
I watched him run around with this beautiful grandchild and wondered how he comforts her. If this is really it--as good as it is--what do you do with the questions those kids inevitably ask? About the state of the world--the brokenness--knowing things are not as they should be. Man, it would not take long for despair to take over. Faith is a wager--and today, I am willing to take the risk.