Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
October 28, 2020
I am a tremendous admirer of the senior pastors who have served Shadyside Presbyterian Church down through the years. I have to confess that sometimes here in the church office, I will look around and picture one or the other of them right here. I am glad that I have some of their writings, because that makes their presence even stronger. It helps me wonder. “What would Bob Holland do? What would Howard Scharfe have to say on this particular matter? I wonder how Craig Barnes might approach this idea? What insights might I gain from Hugh Thomson Kerr?”
It reminds me in some ways of my visit to the Reformation Museum just across the street from the church where John Calvin preached for so many years. It is in the building where he taught classes. I did not know what to expect when I went to the Reformation Museum. It was new enough that I had not read anything in great detail about it. Although I liked many of the exhibits, the one I enjoyed the most was in the dining room. You were to imagine the great Reformers having dinner around a long table. All around the table were chairs; of course, they were empty. But the exhibit was designed in such a way that we were to envision a conversation underway between the various great figures of the Reformation: Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, Luther, and many others. It was a big table. As we watched, spotlights shone on the various chairs, one at a time. As the spotlight came on, one Reformer expressed his strongly held convictions about a particular matter facing the Church. Then, that spotlight dimmed as another spotlight came on, and another church leader presented their viewpoint. Sometimes there was similarity in the various viewpoints, and other times they were quite divergent, one from another.
The general thrust of the conversation had to do with the well-being of God’s people, as they live the Christian life together. That is what our wonderful leaders from the past years at Shadyside Presbyterian Church would also say, if a spotlight would come on here, and there, as they engaged in a conversation.
May the kind of insights that we glean from such conversations keep us close to God’s side this day, as we walk faithfully into the future.
Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts.
The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
About Dr. Dalles
Read more about Dr. Dalles.
Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.
About By God’s Side
Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith.
Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.