It is the week of the Super Bowl. And, we ARE the Super Bowl, right here in Minnesota - the great cold northland.
We thought our Vikings might take the field in their own home town. But, that wasn't to be. Instead, last year's Super Bowl Champion Patriots will defend their title against the Eagles of Philadelphia. Of course, in the summer I live among Red Sox and Patriots fans at our New Hampshire lakeside. So, this year I can pull for the Patriots, and behave like a Boston-born New England boy.
Here at Covenant Village, Molly and I have often sat at dinner with a dear old (96 years) Covenant minister. He grew up on a farm in northern Minnesota. But when he learned of our Connecticut and New Hampshire upbringing, he always says, "I love New England. I love the history!"
I too, love the history. For it is spiritual history, of young separatists who left their homes in England, to cross a forbidding ocean in order to defend their Pilgrim faith in a Lord Who comes to the two or three gathered together in His Name to lead them, as a congregation, on a journey of great adventures. They came to New England and to America with a vision of a land that would be "as a city set upon a hill" to be a servant nation to the world.
Of course, people have trouble living by this vision. They have trouble staying on course. They follow side tracks. The vision becomes diluted. Until every now and then a voice raises, and a season comes, when they are called back. And the vision is lifted up, and people are called out - once more - in their time, in a new day, to be that pilgrim people again. To be journeyers with Jesus, calling the world around them to dare to recapture the vison of old, and - like the prophets of the Old Testament - to issue a call for the old insights to be applied to the New Day, and the old adventure to be taken up again - and new foundations be added to the old, and new calls from God are answered, enabling the old passions and insights to be undertaken with new relevance, and new determination.
Our church, with a name recalling that time of new beginnings in faith and history, gave us a great opportunity to bring alive the old adventure again during three tumultuous decades of the late 20th century.
And the "Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation" was birthed as a further extension of that vision, sharpened and honed to the critical need of a world suffering genocide, and anger, and bitter division.
What a privilege to be alive still, to raise that call, to lift high the cross, and through that spirit of young pilgrims, and yes, the very heritage of that New England corner of our country, to dare to be renewed followers of Jesus - in a country and a world, that needs us.
Something with which "Patriots" from the first wilderness shore, can remind us, and challenge us, this Super Bowl weekend in Minnesota.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
|Arthur Rouner Ministries||
ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. . ."