Reading: Psalm 22: 25-31 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: There seems to be a lot of concern about the "nones". In fact, at a recent congregational meeting, the " nones" were brought up so much (Why are there so many nones? How can we reach the nones? What are the nones looking for? We need to invite the nones to our church!) someone who walked into the meeting late was wondering why the sudden outreach emphasis toward the Catholic church with serious concern for the nuns?!
I walked into the meeting late, too, but I think I understand the nones to be those who claim no religious affiliation at all. Decades ago that was a small percentage of our population; now that number is significantly larger. So, the increase in the number of nones along with the decrease in church membership and declining worship attendance could very well bring on a lot of hand-wringing.
Let's look at Psalm 22 for guidance and encouragement. Verse 25 gives us something to stand on and to share: From (God) comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly. God is the source of our faith, hope and love and we are to praise him everywhere with everyone. Verses 30 and 31 give us the assurance: Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn - for he has done it.
The congregational meeting was positive and inspiring. Our praise will continue inside and outside church. We will show and share God's love to the nones and also to all who work for and serve in God's kingdom (including nuns, too!). --Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper