Walking together on the endless road of engaging the Bible in response to the constantly changing challenges of our time means not treating the Bible like a one-size-fits-all instructional manual. Using abortion as a case study demonstrates that it involves both intense listening to the real-life situations of people as well as to the wisdom of the Bible.
Praying that God will forgive us as we forgive others is not a kind of quid pro quo, one thing in exchange for another. God is not in the business of being a divine accountant. God is, instead, quick to forgive and empowers us to forgive. This liberates us – we no longer have to be controlled by the evil that others have committed against us.
All churches are wounded in various ways and we all have the capacity to be healing communities. As church members, we take risks when we open ourselves to each other. Smaller churches are especially able to do that as we gradually learn to know each other better, enabling us to grow in our trust in one another. Every church can be a diverse place where everyone feels safe, but no one is completely comfortable.
What especially complicates following Jesus for us is how entwined American Christianity has become with American culture. The “black lives matter” movement reminds us that this includes the specter of white supremacy, yet it also includes consumerism and the American dream morphs into “greed is good.” The Easter morning story of Jesus’ resurrection is God’s strange victory over such powers. God’s call to us is to walk in the resurrection.
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey is an object lesson on the elusive virtue of humility. It also teaches us that we don’t need to be at the center of political power to be socially responsible. The opposite is more likely true. Being at the center of political power generally involves gaining the world at the expense of losing our souls.
God’s World of Grace It’s too much! Our human capacity for violence and for causing unspeakable suffering is too much. An ancient chieftain once accused the Romans of creating a desert through their destructive violence and then calling it peace. I think of that when I see those horrific images of completely destroyed cities in […]
Scriptures: Isaiah 40: 1-5; Mark 1: 1-8 Last Sunday my wife Ruth shared about the death of Anuraj Jha in a tragic car accident in Sudan where he was working with the UN as a child protection specialist. His wife Jill Landis and their two young daughters, who were in the car with him, […]
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