We should strive to understand the world with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. These words have been around a long time, at least as far back as my seminary days, and they are not credited to some right-wing Christian politician. It is commonly taught the idea first belonged to Karl Barth, a German theologian. Although the words might have been spoken in the first half of the last century, they have never been more true than they are today.
When I clicked on the website of the local newspaper this morning this was the bold headline that struck my attention – “Baptist free-for-all: Cruz over Huckabee.” Of course I read the story. It seems that a Metroplex mega church held a presidential wanna-be forum last night with six Republican candidates in attendance. More than 6,000 gathered to listen to these politicians proclaim their faith, portray their platform, cast aspersions on their opponents, and plead for votes. It sounds like it was two hours of listening to half-a-dozen men, and one woman, talk about how they are better than anyone else.
Although this event occurred relatively close (at least by Texas’ standards) to our little band of believers known as Bread Fellowship, the two meetings could not have been any more dissimilar. We did not have thousands of people meeting in an enormous auditorium. Instead, we were barely more than a dozen sitting in a circle of stackable chairs in a rented art/dance studio.
The conversation at Bread Fellowship was also about greatness and what it looks like and how it can be achieved. As we are working our way through the lectionary for the year, the passage for the day was Mark 10:35-45. In that passage, Jesus reminded his disciples that the pathway to greatness is through servanthood. After reading the newspaper headline, it is amazing how appropriate Jesus’ words were for this particular day.