WORD OF THE WEEK: SOREN
Happy 200th birthday, Soren Kierkegaard! Danish philosopher and church reformer (5/5/1813-11/11/1855) was such a thorn in the side of the church of his day that his name became an anathema. The following generations of Danish families stayed away from naming their sons Soren! While he is regarded as the “father of existentialism,” the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://www.iep.utm.edu/kierkega/) calls him “an outsider in the history of philosophy.” SK’s message still remains powerfully prophetic – calling the church back to its first love and its original task of training disciples of Christ & academic philosophy to its Socratic roots. I started reading SK in college and still find much to chew on in his writings. (For a Christian evaluation of SK and some selections from his writings, go here).
Like Jesus, Soren told many parables to communicate his message. The following parable of the two artists is typical of SK’s effort to help the people understand the great commandment: to love God and the neighbor as ourselves. I’ve abridged it for this weekly message – SK’s words are in double quotes.
Once there were two artists. First artist said: ‘I’ve been around the world many times. But I’m no closer to finding a face worth painting, a face with the perfection of beauty. In every single face I’ve looked at, there was this or that imperfection, a little blemish here, a little fault there. So it’s hopeless. I can’t find a face worth painting.” Artist two said: ‘I’m not a real artist, and I haven’t traveled much. But in the little circle of people closest to me, I haven’t found a face so dull or so full of faults that “I still could not discern in it a more beautiful side and discover something glorious.” So I’m happy with my art, even though I can’t claim to be an artist.’ So who is the true artist and the true lover?
SK says the only difference between the two is that the second took “a certain something” with her to her work, while the first did not.
The purpose of art is to make life beautiful for us, not to discover that not one of us is beautiful enough. Likewise, the purpose of love is not to discover that by its high standards none of us is worth loving. Rather “love’s recognized precisely by its loving enough to find some lovableness in all of us, consequently loving enough to be able to love all of us.” (Works of Love, pp. 156-7).
On this 200th anniversary of SK’s birthday, let us find beauty and love in the people and the natural environs closest to us. Only then will we possess “a certain something” to take into the larger world – to be able to see and love a world full of beauty, full of divine presence. May we nurture “a certain something” in our lives every day.
Thank you Soren for continuing to speak to us.
CHILDREN’S MUSICAL AT WORSHIP, SUN. MAY 45, 2013, 9 AM & 10:45 AM
Please join the Joyful Notes Choir on Sunday, May 5th, at both the 9:00 and 10:45 worship services, as they present the Word in musical form, bringing the story of Samson to life in the musical Samson – The Day God Brought Down The House! by Eric Rainwater and Fred Judkins. Perfect occasion to invite family and friends to church to see this enchanting musical of ‘mighty proportions.’
UPDATE ON THE 90-DAY ADVENTURE IN PRAYER
We’re into the last weeks of our 90-Day Adventure in Prayer. We hope you’ve found the daily readings inspiring you – drawing you closer to God and to our companions in the Way. I’d like to invite the Triads to send me a short email, letting me know how you are doing and what you are doing. You can join the conversation by following Pastor Kim’s frequent reflections on our church blog.
TRUSTEES WORK DAY, SATURDAY, MAY 11, 8 AM TO NOON
Spring is here. Help beautify our campus. Everyone is welcome to participate!
SPECIAL CHURCH CONFERENCE, WED., MAY 22, 7:30 PM-8:00 PM
There will be a special church conference on Wed. May 22, 7:30 pm-8:00 pm to approve the pastor’s compensation package for 2013-2014. All members are welcome to attend. The regularly scheduled church council meeting will be held immediately after the special church conference. In the Fireside Room.
SUMMER WORSHIP SURVEY
We want to know your preferences for worship during summer (July 7 – Sept. 1): a) remain at 2 services at 9 and 10:45 or b) hold one service at 10 am. Please email the church office with your choice, barbarawade(at)earthlink.net, if you didn’t turn in a survey form last Sunday.
HELP FURNISH THE PARSONAGE
Pastor Paul and Christie are moving into the church parsonage on June 15. If you have any “good-quality” furniture you’d like to donate, please let them know. You can find a list of the wanted items in the May Connections.