Month: February 2015
February 28, 2015
And when you’re on death row, you’re not really concerned with trivial pursuits, are you? Paul wasn’t dwelling on trivialities; he was dialed into eternities. That’s why it was particularly devastating for Demas to desert him. Because look at what Demas did: he loved this present world – its comfort, safety, and reputation – and in so doing ignored the next one. And Paul, who because he is on death row is dwelling on eternities more than at any other time in his life, knows something deadly: Demas has sacrificed what is eternal on the altar of what is trivial.
February 26, 2015
Our story can be one of experiencing God’s transforming presence in our lives as we recognize the depths of our need for Christ, and Jesus’s ability and willingness to meet that great need. We can move forward with confidence, knowing that the Lord will sustain the church one way or another. And as we move into the future, we will be sustained and guided from perilous missteps if we immerse ourselves in the deep wisdom of our tradition. And as we seek to follow Christ and become mature in our faith, we can invite others to come with us on this great adventure.
Wesleyans have a great story to share with one another and with the world…
February 25, 2015
Well, the Christian doctrine of the afterlife is simply integral to Christian doctrine, period, and indeed, the faith as a whole makes no sense if the life to come is ignored or trivialized. The heart of the Christian faith is the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, which provides salvation and redemption for God’s whole fallen creation.
I believe these Christian doctrines of the afterlife provide powerful resources to make sense of some of the perennial big questions like the problem of evil, the foundations of morality, and the very meaning of life. And again, insofar as we think Christianity is true because it makes sense of things, we also have reason to think the doctrines of the afterlife are true, since they are integral to Christianity.
February 23, 2015
In some ways “Calvary” functions like a modern day parable: teasing us into thinking long and hard about its message, meaning, and implications for our world in the 21st century. I propose that the movie answers the question, “what does it look like to live as a royal priest prepared for battle in a Post-Christendom context?”
February 21, 2015
The bells that tolled, according to John Donne, were a sign to those who heard that we are all mortal and meet the same end known as death; that when one dies a part of all of us dies. The stone that rolled, according to Matthew, was a sign to those who witness it that the end known as death is not, in fact, the end. And therefore, it is okay to send for whom the stone rolls. It rolls for thee! The stone rolls for us! And when we hear the sound of the stone rolling, it rings in our ears that the main thing that draws nearer to us is not death, but resurrection! Triumphant grace! Grace that declares death doesn’t have the final word. But that one day there will be no more crying, no more death…
February 19, 2015
What more is Ash Wednesday than this? To bow the head, receive the ash, and be led by the hand to a time of fasting and prayer? What more is Lent than putting to death the inner persecutor and praying determinedly for the outer one?
February 16, 2015
Unhurriedly, lovingly, they ask deep and hard questions without evaluating, discussing, or critiquing the answers. Through prayer and their love for the person, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the committee helps them consider the issue in every possible way. Some of their questions will grow out of their times of prayer during the previous week; other questions will arise because of something a previous speaker asked.
February 14, 2015
Are we willing to envision ourselves out from under the tree? God already has. Jesus has already prepared a way for us and we need not be ruled by what has come before. Jesus sees not only who we are but who we can be—worthy of glimpsing the great opening of the heavens just as he promises Nathanael about greater things. As for the tree, we know that he takes it on, whittled away as the cross. We are reminded, even at this juncture of Nathanael’s joy at starting the journey, that we still must contest the ongoing evils and shames of this world, within and without.
February 12, 2015
Christ indwells us Christians; the Holy Spirit is his abiding presence in our lives. To the degree that we cultivate an awareness of and are responsive to his Spirit, Christ will guide us.
February 11, 2015
I’m here to remind you today that you didn’t imagine those dreams. You didn’t imagine that vision. And God has not forgotten you. Perhaps you’ve been taken where you never wished to go. Maybe life has seemed all detour, no destination. Maybe you think that you’ve gone beyond the reach of God’s purposes, serving no useful role in any way that amounts to much. The truth is that sometimes people are called, and sometimes people are taken…