Some folks suggest Christianity's central truth claims have no weight because they hang on an impossible mixture -- the fully human and fully divine Christ. Deity and dirt can't co-exist, no matter what Lord Byron may think of Robert Burns and his poetry.
I invite such doubters to attend an Annual Conference of the UMC -- the sacred and the mundane walk hand in hand for four days and seem quite happy with one another.
On the one hand are soaring services of worship, with preaching that lends wings to the spirit and can remind even the boldest cynic of our ranks why he or she ever thought about answering God's call instead of leaving the phone off the hook. And watching our new ministers come into the conference, some taking the first step of commissioning and others the final step of ordination, confirming that the call was real and their church welcomes them as its leaders. For me, watching students I met as college freshmen receive their stoles or stand before the gathered body as provisionary elders and deacons is a feeling I don't think will be matched.
Hearing the work of God done through different agencies and groups of our conference despite laughable budgets and resources that are drizzled out when there should be such a flood they say, "Well, we've got more than we need. Why don't you help someone else?"
And on the other hand.
Business reports read straight from pre-conference materials, without a doubt the best presentations 1957 ever saw. And other agencies, represented by self-serving speeches that look to justify their lamprey's latch on my parishioners' pockets.
Ah well -- I'm far from bold, so I rejoice in what God has done in our Annual Conference and what he may yet do with and through us, even me.