I'm excited to preach on Sunday, the Baptism of Jesus. My mentor told me not to get overly creative since her church wouldn't expect something too crazy. So I won't be throwing water on them or anything overly fun or strange.
Yet, as I was playing in the shower water this morning I was thinking about creation and how after each piece of creation was added: the light and the dark, land, creatures of the air and of the land, and even people after each creation God said "And it was good." It was good. I believe in Original Goodness. We were made for goodness and love, I believe this with my whole heart and spirit. Yet, instead of a doctrine of Original Goodness, humans created a doctrine of Original Sin.
Isn't it strange? Most folks will say that God is good. God is love. God created out of love. And yet, our focus is on sin and failing and missing the mark. I live a life of grand mistakes and bold sins and embarrassing sins as well. I know that all of us do. But how much braver and bolder for justice and love would we be if we spoke of Original Goodness instead of Original Sin?
While I played in the water this morning, I remembered getting "in trouble" for one of baptismal sermons. I had pretty much stated that we were born perfect and then as we play and learn and grow in this world we learn of and experience sin. I wasn't supposed to say such things in the UMC; it didn't fit our doctrine.
As I remembered my "trouble," it wasn't much really, just a "talking to," I'm so happy to be free to say what I mean and mean what I say. In the UMC, I was always trying to fit in. I would stretch concepts so that I could say them honestly. That's not really honest though is it?
I'm thrilled to be participating in a church in which I can ask questions, challenge concepts and theologies, and grow. I've never been happier in church than I am now. I finally found my home.
I learned a lot from the UMC and there are things like the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and Prevenient Grace that have shaped my faith formation but I'm glad to be in a new home where I am encouraged to continue to grow and continue the journey because I believe that God is still speaking.