On this Sunday morning the Old Fool wakened with a clear dream on his mind. He had visited the Marion Mennonite Church, the church of his youth. Only the church was meeting in the new larger building he can see on its web page. The large auditorium was packed, and in his dream, a task force of youth were reporting on how the congregation could use advanced technology to make its message known. So much for a dream!
The Old Fool was relieved to leave the dream to go where he could meet with living friends in College Mennonite Church, listen to a real sermon, and meet with a real study group.
As before in the series of sermons based on outstanding women of the Old Testament, the preacher was challenged to take the congregation back over the years, across the differences brought by Jesus, to the time of Abigail which culturally is difficult to understand in I Samuel 25.
In The Old Fools judgment, the preacher made an exceptionally strong presentation on Abigail. She told the story eloquently and simply. She updated the story by reminding the congregation of a Liberian woman, Leymah Gbowee, who challenged the war-makers in Liberia and brought an end to warfare in her country. The preacher told how this peacemaker was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was honored by being asked to help carry the Olympian flag in the games’ opening parade. She strongly challenged the congregation to consider what injustices should be challenged in Goshen or in our nation. In the mind of the Old Fool this was an appropriate use of this Old Testament text.
Yet difficult questions remain. Is the congregation able to face the mythical nature of many of the stories in the Bible? For instance, science clearly shows that Eve cannot be the actual mother of all living. Is the congregation able to talk about the mythical nature of the Adam and Eve story?
The Old Fool wrote this while listening to Bill Moyer’s expose on TV of the efforts by states to limit the electorate. Having lived in the south for 53 years, The Old Fool wonders how long it will take for the Christians of America to recognize and protest the racial injustices in today’s politics.