The other day I heard Maya Lin talk about her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. I’ve visited the wall many times, and it’s always crowded with people, many of them deeply moved by the v-shaped black granite gash in the earth.
I like to read the mission notes in our UCC/DOC Global Ministries e-mailings, and I always give special attention to those written by my seminary classmate Jeff Mensendeik, who does mission work in Japan. He was close to the situation in northern Japan during the tragic tsunami in 2011.
My family shared communion bread in my father’s hospice room before he died. We blessed it, broke it, and ate it. My mom caught a few medical professionals off guard by holding the loaf out to them when they came into the room to check Dad’s blood pressure or give him his medications.
Recently in my Sunday school class, we continued a discussion that started the previous time, sparked by Hebrews 12, which depicts God as one who disciplines—or more literally “whips” or “flogs”—his children for their benefit. There was general agreement that, while some ancient people may have viewed misfortunes that came their way as divine punishment, there are good scientific, moral and even biblical grounds for challenging that viewpoint.
The New York Times recently published an article about the revived process of accountability in the Mennonite church between our now-deceased, famed theologian John Howard Yoder and the victims of his sexual abuse. I’m not an expert on Yoder, and, like most people, I too am realizing that there is much I didn’t know about the extent of Yoder’s sexual coercion—both its content and its reach.
But I have been surprised by the number of people who were unaware this was part of Yoder’s past.
There was a good bit of incredulity in my Twitter feed the other day in reaction to the interview with Antonin Scalia in which he confessed to belief in the devil. His response to the interviewer should have silenced the Twitterverse.