Pastor Mike’s Garage March 4th, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-March 4/21*

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of
counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

The end is near! Of winter at least! Hopefully of covid as well! It is
a year now since our “church world” went sideways with closures and
constant varying regulations. This week our premier hinted that regulations
would soon be relaxing. I have no idea where you specifically stand, wait,
that’s not entirely true! Many have shared their personal opinions on what
they think of government restrictions, their personal views on covid
concerns and theories on conspiracy(or conspirators for that matter). And
the opinions are as varied from the east is to the west!

Before the restrictions implemented in Nov mandating that there were
to be no personal gatherings outside of your immediate family, I had asked
three different couples if they were interested in joining us in a small
group to go through a video series on the Christian faith. I was stressing
a bit about this because I knew that two of the participants had strong
polar opposite opinions on everything that has captivated our lives over
the last year! I wasn’t sure how we were going to meet on a regular basis
and they wouldn’t eventually butt heads in an apocalyptic fashion! That got
me to thinking, how do we deal with those who at times have very different,
strongly held, opinions than ours? The irony is that everyone, in their
heart of hearts, no matter where they land on the opinion spectrum, believe
that they are the informed balanced one, and clearly those that oppose them
are the ignorant wing-nut! In this day and age when there is so much
extremely varied media influence, what does one believe? Social media has
allowed us to spew our personal opinions out there for the world to see and
we do not firsthand see how it affects those we are addressing. We have
lost personal connection and interaction. How do we stand behind our
personal opinions, and yet be respectful of one another?

A few pastor garages ago I spoke of a trip I had taken to Europe and
the Middle-East. It was the first time I had spent much time in cultures
and with people that varied drastically from me. As I spent time getting to
know people who had very different views than mine, whether on matters of
God’s existence, religion, cultural standing, or sexual orientation, I was
challenged that for the most part, even though many had very different,
polar opposite opinions on matters that I hold very dear to my heart, at
the end of the day people were just people! They all had hopes, dreams,
aspirations, fears, failures. They wanted to love and be loved, to provide
for their families, make a difference! Am I saying that we should not hold
our own personal convictions or opinions? No! But what makes me right and
them necessarily wrong? Is it that clear? At times it seems clear until you
have that person right in front of you, and you develop a relationship with

I’ve been thinking a lot about something Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians
2:1-5. *“**And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to
you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know
nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you
in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message
were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit
and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in
the power of God.”* What stuck out to me is when Paul said “I decided to
know nothing”, other versions use the words determined, or resolved. It was
a matter of choice! I don’t think it was because Paul didn’t know anything
or wasn’t intelligent! Quite the opposite, because of his background,
training and experiences I would think him most able to know and impart a
thing or two! Yet he chose to stick to the basics and let God move! I think
there is a great amount of benefit and wisdom in the gathering of
like-minded, and opposite minded individuals only if we give opportunity to
get to know one another as people, not just opinions!

I will leave you with a link that was passed on to me from an article
written for the leader post by a theologian for the Archdiocese of Regina.
It speaks to current restrictions placed on places of worship and the need
for us getting together for creating balance in our opinions! I found it a
very interesting read!

Pastor Mike