MJ and I had a lovely trip to St. Louis this past Thursday and Friday. We enjoy staying at the Drury Inn which has a complimentary breakfast and dinner as well as 3 complimentary drinks during their Happy Hour. Probably the highlight of the two day event was eating lunch on Friday at Bartolino’s Osteria on The Hill. It is next to the Drury Inn. We have been fans of St. Louis for many years and have had physicians in the city for 8 years. Each time that MJ received a good medical report…I feel euphoric and we subsequently celebrated with a glass of wine at the restaurant. Having had many years of giving little thought to medical issues…I came to realize early in our retirement that health issues had become a new reality in our mix of travel and fun and the freedom of not having to report to work each day. Such is life with its unique mixture of laughter and tears and mountains and valleys…often united in the same experience.
Practical Christianity is the faith that is closest to my heart. Not the faith community that espouses that all of the world is in darkness and that there is only a select few of God’s creation that are worthy of saving and therefore are his children. The exclusive christian clubs remind me of the elite and insular social clubs of the rich and famous. The belief that the door is only open to a certain ethnicity or members of a preferred social hierarchy is at odds with the message of Jesus. When we exclude others…we exclude ourselves.
My friend, John, described a good breakdown of two segments of churches in the United States. One would be people who are seeking fulfillment of themselves and a faith walk that enriches them…but have little interest in reaching outside of their faith community. The other group are primarily focused on putting legs and hands and feet to their following of Christ by assisting those in need. It seems to me that the ideal church is a mixture of people energized by the gospel and thus are compelled to reach out to those who need a helping hand.
The magical appeal of Jesus message is that it resonates with the highly educated and those who have little education. It brings the rich and the poor together to break bread and learn of each other. Practical Christianity sees the multitude of humanity as God’s children…and as when Jesus fed the five thousand…all God’s children got to eat…