April 12, 2015
New York City
I am so proud of The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler. She broke the stain glass ceiling when she was called as Senior Pastor to Riverside Church. Riverside has a rich history of outstanding preacher/pastors and a reputation for working for social justice. While I was in New York, I had hope to hear her preach, but on this Sunday she was away visiting family. The preacher for the day was The Rev. Dr. Robert C. Dykstra.
Dr. Dykstra is a professor at Princeton’s Divinity School.
Dr. Dykstra began his message by sharing a frustration about his electronic devices. The spiral that shows up on a blank page was an annoyance. A technician explained to him that the spiral was not a bug but a feature. This is mantra he repeated throughout his sermon: “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” His sermon text was taken from Luke 24. It is the story of Jesus joining two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He spoke about experiencing doubt and fear while at the same time discovering faith and joy in the presence of Risen Christ. He suggested that both are necessary for a genuine faith.
The service was filled with Easter joy! The pipe organ rang out and the choir almost lifted the roof off the ceiling. Although Riverside Church is cathedral like is size and structure, the atmosphere, stain glass windows and congregation reminded us of our home church, Takoma Park Baptist in Washington DC. At the end of the service it was announced that next Sunday the choir would be in the pews and scaffolding would be around the altar. We were glad we came when we did.
Doubt and faith, grief and new life, scaffolding and renovation, crucufixtion and resurrection are all part of life. Dr. Dykstra got it right, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”
I count it all joy,