Did you ever watch the old Star Trek? No matter the peril or danger the crew got involved in, they pretty much started the next episode from the exact same position. They had the same outlooks. They had the same values. They had the same relationships. The advantage of this for television viewing was, unlike the soap opera format, you could miss three episodes and enjoy the next one without having to go back and re-watch what you missed. There were certain assumptions you could make and the story would make sense.
I sometimes think “if only life was this simple.” If only we could always assume that certain values and priorities were universals, life would be much simpler. But of course life, it isn’t so simple.
That is why I believe we should start building in a reset button in all that we do. Why are we Americans? Why are we Christians? Why are we Presbyterians? What do we value and why?
Of course, this won’t literally happen. But I think from a teaching perspective, particularly with the next generation, we need to teach why we value ‘freedom of speech’ in the United States, why we believe Jesus was more than just as wise man as Christians, and why we find the Reformed Tradition compelling as Presbyterians. I just chose three topics randomly, there are many many more fundamentals we need to re-emphasize.
How are we passing on the things we value most? How are we even asking ourselves why we personally hold these values of ultimate importance?
Chanting “USA…USA…” doesn’t make us Americans. Standing for what we see as “traditional values” doesn’t make us Christian. And going to a church that has “Presbyterian” in the name doesn’t make us Presbyterians.
Until next time,