Saturday, December 12, 2009

I don't know what's best

On Sunday Rev. David Lindrooth gave a talk at the Bryn Athyn Contemporary Family Service that has stuck with me. (I don't know if it was recorded. So far it's not available on but if it ever becomes available it should be here.)

Luckily for you he also posted a summary of it on his blog: "A Church is Dead Without Innocence". He has a list of all the things that the Writings say aren't possible without innocence and then applies this to thinking about a church.
In the light of these statements, look at the church through the lens of innocence. What does the church without innocence look like? How does it operate? What are the risks for a church organization that gives “innocence” short shrift? -no regeneration -no wisdom -no good -no charity -no worship…. The cultivation of innocence is a defining factor in the church. No wonder Jesus said “let the little children come to me for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
The main thing that stuck with me, though, was a passage that he read from Heaven and Hell that talks about the angels' innocence. Most people who've had some New Church education or gone to a New Church congregation for a while could give you the New Church definition of innocence: "a willingness to be led by the Lord" (Heaven and Hell 341. This is a great phrase for summarizing what innocence is all about, but there's also another, more personal one that I got from Dave on Sunday: "I don't know what's best."

In Heaven and Hell 278 (the passage Dave read) it says that angels in a state of innocence
recognize that they themselves do not know what is good for them, the Lord alone knowing this.
How do I work on being innocent? A good place to start is to say "I don't know what's best; the Lord does." This can be applied to all sorts of things—"I don't know what's best for me and my life; the Lord does." "I don't know what's best for this person who's asking me for help; the Lord does." "I don't know what's best for the church organization; the Lord does."

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