Questions and Answers
The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed. He made his ways known to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. – Psalm 103:6-7 (NRSV)
My work before ministry happened in an array of libraries and bookstores, where I learned from my mentors that there are no stupid questions.
Some people had a two-word question, or a vague memory of a book cover, or had never asked for help in a library before. We did our best to fill in the blanks. For Senate staff who called for bill-tracking help, we used legislative databases. For parents wandering into The Enchanted Forest Children’s Bookstore, we scoured our own memories for Curious George and his bike. For middle schoolers doing projects about Hawaii at the public library, we introduced them to the card catalog at “v” for volcanoes.
I wonder what the church would be if we offered each other that kind of grace when faith questions are asked out loud. How is God working in the world? Is there something we can—or ought to—do to help?
Psalm 103 gives us a poetic outline and leaves us to color in the details. The Lord works, says the psalmist, and then points us to Moses. (Flip to Exodus 3 and 4 for details.) Moses’ story reminds us that even when we are not enthusiastic and don’t know all the answers, God doesn’t call us and leave us alone. God will provide us with words and resources and helpers.
“How am I going to do this?” is a very good question.
May the answer be “never alone.”
Holy God, thank you for the questioners and the answerers who motivate us to do your work of justice. Amen.
Martha Spong is a UCC pastor, a clergy coach, Executive Director of RevGalBlogPals, and the co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith).