Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/26/10

Why am I here? Our struggle for meaning, in the world and church

By       (Page 1 of 8 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   6 comments
Author 22
Message Robert Jensen
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

[This is an edited version of a sermon delivered July 25, 2010, at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. http://www.staopen.com/]

Let's approach the question "Why am I here?" at two different levels.

The first is the question of the ages, which we all have asked at some point: Why is any one of us here? Why are we humans here, with this vexing consciousness and frustrating capacity for self-reflection? Are we the product of some larger plan beyond our understanding? Do humans have a purpose? Are we special?

The answer to that is easy: No. We are not special. We are an organism like all others, the product of an evolutionary process in a very big universe in which we are, as individuals, insignificant. But don't fret about that; we are also insignificant as a species, and the collection of entities on Earth that we call "life" is insignificant, as is the planetary ecosystem in which we live and our solar system and our galaxy. We are, in the big picture, insignificant beings floating in insignificance in a universe that is vast beyond human comprehension.

If anyone is still wrestling with that one, still searching for some essential meaning to our existence, I have some simple advice: Get over it, and start pulling your weight in the meaning-making enterprise. If there's meaning in any of this, we create it ourselves, and we need all hands on deck for that one.

The second, and more important, question: Why am I here, at St. Andrew's? That's a question all of us have asked at some point, and I suspect most of us ponder it regularly. Why are we members of a church, specifically members of this particular church, with its -- how shall we say politely -- tendency toward heresy and unwillingness to bend to the will of God as understood by John Calvin and his descendants in the Mission Presbytery.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Well Said 2   Must Read 1   Interesting 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Jensen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book, All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, was published in 2009 (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The paradox of pornography

The Collapse of Journalism/The Journalism of Collapse: New Storytelling and a New Story

Great television/bad journalism: Media failures in Haiti coverage

“Crash” and the self-indulgence of white America

Struggling to be "fully alive': Reports on coping with anguish for a world in collapse

Pornography is a left issue

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: