Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
“We Are Who We Were Then…” was the opening title of my thesis for my Doctor of Ministry degree. It affirms that each of us is an undeniable product of our past, which has a major impact on how we interpret and respond to current events.
I was born into, and lived much of my early life in, a school of at least 24 nationalities. We lived on the conviction that each of us – all of us – was a part of God’s creation. Each of us is a full child of God.
Today, we move into a new year and a new way of defining inclusion and exclusion. I invite us to consider our history of “we are who we were then.” In light of our faith, do the present cultural values truly define who we are called by God to be today?! Which of those past values are based on the popular present values of self, security, and selfishness? I invite us to re-examine all our past values in light of God’s amazing grace and unconditional love to ALL people. Where those values are in contradiction to God’s inclusive love, God’s grace can transform us from “who we were then” to the second part of my thesis, “…but not who can be then.” We are called to be new people wherever our past values are destructive to self and others.
Many, if not all, of the world tensions today are because leaders of the nations (including our own), corporations, individuals of affluence and influence, prefer the world to “be like me.” Often little respect or understanding is shown to “who THEY were then,” and “who THEY are now.” Is that true of us also? How can we live and speak out in favor of a world where all are seen as children of God? How do we nurture a nature and conviction of inclusiveness here at Bay Village?
Let me know, please.