“For the Honor and Glory of God”

San Luis Potosi's Central Christian Church stained glass glowing in the Easter morning sun

San Luis Potosi’s Central Christian Church stained glass glowing in the Easter morning sun

We almost made it on time for the 6 am worship service Easter morning at Central Christian Church in San Luis Potosi.  Kate had made two large pans of coffee cake for the breakfast following so packing the car and getting the dogs on the roof, where they can roam free, complicated our getting away at the early hour.  Over thirty five persons attended so Pastor Josue Martinez Cisneros, who had expected half that many, had to be pleased.

Central Christian's Francisco Chapa makes these styrofoam signs for church events and serves as lay pastor for a congregation two hours away

Central Christian’s Francisco Chapa makes these signs for church events and serves as lay pastor for a congregation two hours away

Before heading to the 11 am service at Iglesia Christiana Evangelica (Discipulos de Christo) de la Colonia Julien Carrillo, we had time to explore the beautiful Tangamanga Park for the first time.  On our walk  there was remarkably little evidence of the hordes of people who had enjoyed a picnic in the park woods the day before.  An “enchanted castle”, a roller (or ice?) skating rink, open air amphitheater, and water park were among the attractions we discovered on the brief tour.  It’s the second largest urban park in Mexico so there is much more to see, including the shell of the 1609 house of the hacienda that once occupied the grounds.

At Julien Carrillo we arrived in time to sit in a front pew with a hymnal – we really need to buy one – and were uplifted by the congregational singing and three familiar melodies sung by their fine choir.  During the “testimonials” segment of the service two couples gave thanks for thirty plus years of marriage, Bere Gil Soto thanked God for two wonderful weeks far away from studies at Indianapolis’ Christian Theological Seminary, and a young mother concluded the testifying with a somber note.  She expressed hope that her husband would return with the family to church and envisioned that when he did it would be “for the honor and glory of God”.

Once again, it was the “testimonials” of the congregation that stood out in the Easter worship.  During this segment, we always feel moved and privileged as church members reveal challenges, setbacks and grief along with causes for celebration. Often in the background of these testimonies is the context of the speaker’s living the Christian faith as an evangelical in a very Catholic country.  Kate and I continue to try to understand and appreciate more fully the impact on the faith journey of being in the minority.

The concluding testimonial at Julien Carrillo on Easter morning

The concluding testimonial at Julien Carrillo on Easter morning

Learning about the martyrs in the past history of the evangelical churches of Mexico, of families divided by faith and of the sacrifices made by many evangelicals in our day leads us to reconsider the place of risk in the faith journey.  Taking the risk of the “leap of faith” as Kierkegaard called it was a central theme of our Lenten meditation this year.

The “leap of faith” by our Mexican friends here has us wondering what we give up as Christians if there is little risk in a life of faith. In the U.S. where Protestant “evangelical” Christianity is the norm on the religious and cultural landscape, where and how does risk feature in the lives of Christians? And in a life of faith free of risk how do we witness to the “honor and glory of God”?

About erasingborders

The blog title harks back to an ancient Church history document, The Address to the Emperor Diognetus reporting on the lives of third century Christians in Asia Minor: “They live in their native lands but like foreigners…They take part in everything like citizens and endure everything like aliens. Every foreign country is their native land and every native land a foreign country…. They remain on earth but they are citizens of heaven.” Kate Moyer's wedding present to Doug Smith of a dancing jester figure bore the quote, “I like geography best, he said, because your mountains and rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.” They dedicate this blog then to helping bring about the day when human beings share the resources of the planet equitably and without borders. Our geography experience features childhoods in the Midwest. Kate lived for over twenty years as an adult in the small town of Neodesha, Kansas while Doug has been an urban dweller all his adult life. She is able to readily identify most crops and keeps a close watch on her partner’s snob tendencies. The Nile Valley of Egypt, for Kate, and the Congo rainforest for Doug have left deep marks on their interior landscapes.

Posted on April 4, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. june826@aol.com

    Thanks, Dear Ones for sharing your Easter experiences and thoughts with me. I love you, Obama Mama

  2. Bere Gil Soto

    And I’m now back at CTS! =D

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