A generally excellent sermon I heard on Sunday (sadly not on
th’Interweb yet) made an interesting point that stuck with me, quoting
from Colossians 3:13
(“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have
against one another”).
I think it is easy for modern people to read Paul and surmise that he
wishes we did not have to deal with physical bodies. To those of us
used to thinking of the spirit/soul and the body as totally separate
thing, Paul's "spirit" - "flesh" contrast can sound like "spirit good,
body bad." But I don't think Paul shares our spirit-body duality.
After all, he insists tha
I believe in evil. I believe that evil has a face and hands and pulls a
lot of strings. I have too much experience of strange circumstances
around holy moments to believe anything else. So, though I'm not sure
why yet, I am certain that yesterday afternoon was almost lost to the
Today, for the last time, I turned the lock of the small suite my
parents moved into nearly nine years ago. It’s empty – everything of
theirs given away, sold, or piled into a spare bedroom at our house!
I was really struck by a phrase in Chet Raymo's blog post "A Saturday Reprise." He begins by quoting Bilhah in The Red Tent
who responds to Zilpah's expression of fear at leaving a place where
customs and gods are known and moving to the unknown by saying "Every
place has its holy names, its trees and high places. There will be gods
where we go."
Many years ago on a mission trip in
Haiti, our group was ministering in the isolated mountains in the west
near the Dominican Republic. The village where we stayed was where the
road ended. To say it was a “road” was an exaggeration.
See, the problem with using language like “my neighbor” is the
unintentional (or sometimes more intentional) demarcation that occurs
among people. While the distinction might at first strike some as odd, I
think it’s worth taking a closer look at the inadvertent effects of
talking about who is and who is not “my neighbor.”
As Americans were complaining about all the snow this winter, arguing about the value of NPR and PBS, and learning that we suffer from an “enlargement of self,” the Japanese were dying by the thousands as solid ground gave way and the sea roiled and raged, consuming whole cities.