Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bridge, a walkway, a shortcut to that time in 2021 when there is a Covid vaccine, things open back up, and we all feel safe again? 

I love Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest, a widely-known writer, preacher and teacher. It’s kind of a little joke how often I cite her work in sermons. Here she discusses the complicated issue or religious faith or belief. She says:

 “Belief is not a well-fluffed nest, or a well-defended castle high on a hill. It is more like a rope bridge over a scenic gorge, sturdy but swinging back and forth, with plenty of light and plenty of air but precious little to hang onto except the stories you have heard; that is the best and only way across….”

Faith is a bridge from here to there and what we hang on to when crossing the bridge are the stories. Those we have heard from others that inspire us and the stories of the Scripture we hear read at every single church service, virtual or otherwise. Taylor goes on: 

All you have to do is believe in the bridge more than you believe in the gorge bur fortunately you do not have to believe in it all by yourself. There are others to believe it with you and even seek to believe it for you when your own belief wears thin.”

That’s one reason we have church. 

Here the stories again on Sunday — on New Year’s Eve! It’s the last Sunday of the “old” church year before Advent follows. Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew is a doozy: sheep, goats, heaven and hell. Taylor says that “Matthew gives me a pain” but she doesn’t really mean it. Well, not completely. 

See you Sunday.


Here she is:

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