I got a call recently to visit someone in the hospital. I didn't know her well, but I recognized her name, and when I got to the hospital, I remembered her husband. Two of her four daughters were there. They were not sure about their mother's prognosis, so we prayed to strength for whatever the future would bring.
We have seen a lot of death around here lately. Last summer, our neighbor came by to tell us he was throwing a block party. Two weeks later, he had a heart attack and died. His wife threw the party anyway. We planted a tree for him in his yard and drank lemonade.
Debates about abortion aren’t typically in my wheelhouse, but reflecting on God’s activity in the world is. In particular, I am consistently fascinated—and mostly perplexed—by the theological concept of providence, the notion that God somehow controls all aspects of human history.
I have a new name for God, at least new to me. The old three-letter word "God" is worn out. Words only last so long before they need to be retired for a season. The word "God" has too much freight on it and too many associations.
Shane’s post is not particularly unique in its outlook; over a year ago, Marcus Thompson, a pastor in Oakland, CA, published a piece on Relevant called“The Immorality of Gluttony” that expresses very similar concerns. (I responded to it here.)
About a week after my mother-in-law died, I went by her house to borrow her sieve. Every year, my daughter and I borrow grandma’s sieve to make applesauce. Then we take some applesauce back to her. I was hoping the sieve was still there. I knew my mother-in-law was gone, but I wanted to find the sieve. Maybe it was still in the house.
The summer has brought some changes, big and small, to the congregation where I am a pastor. Of course, the big one is a new senior pastor. But there have been a few little ones, including some ways that our worship services have changed.