Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On Our Way to Hell -- Everyone Welcome!

Hieronymus Bosch

Yesterday I joined my colleagues for our lectionary discussion group even though I am using different scripture passages for worship as part of a series. As we were departing one of them said "I'm not sure where I'm going with this." My response was "I do, I'm going to hell!"

Our three-part series will conclude this Sunday with the subject of hell, which has followed death and heaven. On the Sunday prior to each of these sermons I have included a questionnaire with five simple questions on the next subject. Those who wanted to filled them out during worship and put them on the offering plate. For death there were 70 responses and heaven 71. For hell there were 90. I thought the last questionnaire would elicit the least response rather than the most.

Every week quite a few people chose to offer more than a simple yes or no. Someone scrawled, "I don't believe in hell!" in large letters then wrote a brief dissertation on the subject. I really enjoyed the comments both serious and humourous. I think "Will the Leafs win the cup before I go to heaven?" was intended as humour!

I wonder if we give our folk enough opportunity to participate in discussion of important topics of faith. While there are study groups in our congregation, issues of time and intimidation may keep people from getting involved.

I'm just glad that we heard from so many.

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