For the Living of These Days—A Word from Jim England

Tom Brokaw described the World War II generation as “the Greatest Generation” because of their war effort and building a booming economy when that war ended. He makes a good argument. A recent editorial proclaimed that millennials face the most difficult challenges ever. A friend of mine smiled at that assertion with a comment about the civil rights struggles of the 60s and 70s. Not easy times. I wonder about the need to call a particular generation the greatest ever or the toughest. Are there prizes? Does it help to name these days the most difficult? Does it help anyone to say this generation is better than that generation?

What helps me is naming the challenges of this day and sketch what courage does now. For our interim time at Highland, we want to know when it will end. I want to be sure of the church’s direction and commitments. I want Highland to endure for my children and grandchildren. I cannot answer the “when” question. I can say I trust the people leading the process and those looking for a pastor. And I trust God will lead them. No one has ever described me as a patient person. Yet with patience and trust to believe, all will be well.

That said, we do not get a pass on the great issues and challenges facing our world. The resurgence of racism, the disparity of wealth, an environment tipping closer to a breaking point, our polarization as people. A lot of courage is required to live and speak truthfully. Courage is needed to go the extra mile to understand someone who takes their view from some other source of information. How do I love my neighbors who want to wall themselves off into a community of white privilege? Easier to talk about than to do. Yet our calling carved over our sanctuary entrance is to be “Doers of the Word”. Never easy in any generation. Perhaps every generation’s challenge.