Years ago during the Christmas season, I was in the office of the inner-city congregation I served when the intercom buzzed. "There is a young man here who wants to see you," said the secretary. I knew what that meant. There were many homeless in the neighborhood, and they all asked for money, especially at Christmas.
Metaphor is essential to grasping the divine/human character
of God. Nowhere is metaphor used more compellingly than by the apostle Paul,
especially in his use of the word "adoption" as a metaphor for God's
years ago I received from a parishioner a "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season"
cookie tin. Every time I reached for a piece of Doris's divinity, I had to read
that cheery-angry motto of Christian moralism.
What do young people look for in church? In research done in 250 congregations among people ages 15–29, respondents repeatedly said they were looking for congregations that were “welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring.” The researchers began to call this set of concerns the “warmth cluster.” Worship bands and ministry programs are not a priority, nor is busyness. Even “niceness” doesn’t work with young people. What they apparently seek at church is a sense of family, which calls for intergenerational relationships (Washington Post, September 6).