Doubt, Questions, and Hope

Rev. Loretta Reynolds

During this past year, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between questions, doubt, and hope.   It has certainly been a year full of questions and uncertainty but I at the most unexpected times, I have also been surprised by hope.  I think these three are partners in our growth process.

Sometimes we hear it taught and preached that we should not doubt, and we should not question; we should simply trust and believe.  Honestly, I find many problems with that approach to faith.  Usually when someone takes this approach, they are asking me to trust and believe, not in God, but in their understanding or concept of God.  When I run into people who possess an absolute certainty about who God is and how God works, I find it wise to approach with a healthy skepticism.  Claiming to have all the answers about faith seems to be the opposite of trusting in a God of Mystery.  In Isaiah 55:8-9, God says to the prophet Isaiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways….As high as the heavens are above the earth, so my ways are beyond your ways, and my thoughts are beyond your thoughts.”  It is easy to create God in our own image, but in this verse humility is encouraged before the mystery of God. Continue reading Doubt, Questions, and Hope

The Work of a Prophet

Rev. Loretta Reynolds

Rev. Loretta Reynolds

Dear Berea College Community,

At the beginning of this New Year and new decade (ok, I know there is some debate about that!), the staff at the Campus Christian Center would like to try something new.  We are starting a monthly blog!  Each month, one of our College Chaplains will share what we are thinking.  We hope you will find it helpful, perhaps even inspirational.  And, we would like your feedback.

I have to admit, this is my first foray into blogging so I enter with both excitement and trepidation!  But here are a few things I have been thinking about as we enter 2020.

I’m worried….about climate change, mass incarceration, the threat of war, the treatment of immigrants and what that says about the condition of the soul of our county.  I am concerned about the instability of our political situation, the destruction of our coral reefs and sea animals, what will happen in the election no matter who wins, and I’m worried about all of us who find it easy to fall into despair at the enormity of it all.  I find myself looking around for a prophet.  Someone who will come up with a clear plan and tell me what to do.

Traditional, stereotypical prophets, usually do have a clear plan but often it is a plan that most of us do not want to follow.  I don’t think John and Matilda Fee and the other founders of Berea College saw themselves as prophets.  Well, maybe they did, but I think they were just determined to act on what they believed, to their very core, to be right.  And yet, it was in the very living out of the call to promote justice and equality that they became what we recognize now as prophets.

Continue reading The Work of a Prophet