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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

April 12, 2013


I remember being in the village of one of our Zambian students many years ago. It was in a rather isolated area about 20 miles off the main road. And the road was not that much; just a ribbon of asphalt connecting the capital city and the great Victoria Falls some 300 miles SW.

We were at the village for a couple days and one day we were looking at the valley and surrounding hills. One hill was quite prominent and I asked the student’s father if he had ever been to the top of the hill. He had lived there all his life, but he had never been to the top. “No reason to go to the top,” he explained.

We Westerners are always trying to climb this hill and explore that valley, simply so we can say that we have done it. Heck, the first two paragraphs of this e-gram prove my point.

But, the father had no need to go up there. And to a certain extent, my asking him about going there was something that was not really a question he had ever considered.

The other week we took the Confirmation Class to a local Jewish Synagogue. They could not have been more open with their time and our questions. One of our members asked a very good question: “We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he is the expected Messiah. Are you still waiting for that Messiah?”

Our host was gracious, but explained that waiting for the Messiah is not something that is a major concern of theirs. He also explained that the concept of whether one is going to heaven or hell is not at the forefront of their theology.

We may think it strange that the student’s father had never considered climbing that imposing hill across the valley or that our Jewish friends do not spend a lot of time thinking about heaven and hell. And yet, I suppose they might think it odd that we would want to climb a hill just because, or that we would even have the concept of worrying about heaven and hell.

It is both surprising and freeing when we realize that our ways are not necessarily the ways of the world.

Peace,  Rev. Bob Tussing

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