Earlier today, I met with Griff Wigley who has a lot of experience in this type of presentation. To a certain extent, it felt a little like my picture of Martin Luther meeting Gutenberg. Something like, "Hello Martin, I've got this new invention called the printing press which will revolutionize writing like never before. It has moveable type and everything. Can you think of the possibilities?"
"Yes, I can. And the thoughts are staggering."
For me, words have a life of their own. They can tell the truth in ways that go beyond our imagination. They have a vitality and power to influence and communicate. But, words in today's world -- perhaps in all time and all worlds are used in ways to build up or to destroy.
It would be my hope and prayer that this venue would be a place to discuss and use ideas, to talk about how we understand God and each other. I would like to see this as a forum for telling the human story and for looking at ways to connect and illustrate who we are as people of God.
I remember years ago listening to a speaker named Reuel Howe. He spoke of being on an airplane and his seatmate asked him, "Who are you?"
Reuel said, "I suppose I could tell him I was an author, but if he hadn't read my books, I would be disappointed at my lack of fame.
Or, I could tell him I was a public speaker, even a preacher, but if he didn't subscribe to my way of thinking and theology, we would just end up having some sort of argument."
So, he turned to the fellow and said, "I guess you could say I'm a pilgrim."
"You mean like one of those in the early settler days who met the Indians at Thanksgiving?"
"No," said Howe, "I'm a pilgrim on a journey."
"Where are you going?" asked the fellow.
Howe said, "I'm a pilgrim on a journey from Birth to Life." I like that. I guess that's a little how I look at this. Is that our journey together? A journey from Birth to Life. Yes, I guess I like that.