Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been "Yes and No." For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not "Yes and No"; but in him it is always "Yes." - 2 Corinthians 1:17b-19
For too long we were convinced that the only word was "no."
Every thought or action was governed by a rule or restriction, ranging from the purely ridiculous to the downright dangerous. No dancing. No meat on Fridays. No reading comic books. No women in the pulpit. No marriage for LGBTQ people. No saying "gee whiz." (That last one is a real restriction imposed by father's childhood boarding school. Because gee whiz was short for Jesus' whiskers, obviously).
Understandable. It was confusing out there. So often what we heard seemed contradictory. It was almost like some people were telling us two completely different things at the same time, and expecting us to believe them both. It was easier to believe in a God who only said one word, even if that one word was "no."
But, look again. "No" isn't the word. Instead, the scripture tells us, "it is always ‘yes.'" So dance and feast and laugh and share the good news and love one another and even, if you are ready to really let ‘er rip, shout "gee whiz!" Because our Savior says yes. Yes. Yes. Period.
Brother Christ – You say yes to me. May I say yes to you, too. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.