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Jun 14, 2020 | Rev Dave Buerstetta

The Past is Prologue

William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” That was about 350 years after a different William — Shakespeare, that is — wrote, “What’s past is prologue.” 

Those quotes should ring a bell of recognition for we here in the United Methodist Church. Both of those famous Williams seem to be expressing an idea that we United Methodists have named (through the shorthand of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral) “Tradition.” In other words, we might say, all that we have learned from those that came before us combines with our own histories and affects us still today. We cannot separate ourselves from our past, for it is part of us.


Exodus 19 and Matthew 10 are our textual guides this week and they could be seen to suggestion something similar. Both passages reference earlier writings. Both passages present the people of God at a crossroads. All that they have seen and heard and learned before this brings them to this pivot point in their lives. Before them sits a choice: either hear God calling them and respond accordingly…or not. They can choose to do nothing. They can choose to continue on as they have been, living life unchanged. 

Which way will they decide to go?
Which way will we go, we who strive to be disciples in 2020? 

(Perhaps we can try to remember another, though much less famous quote by Geddy Lee, who sang, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”)


Pastor Dave will explore those ideas and more this Sunday, June 14th, in his sermon, “The Past is Prologue.”