Selected posts from around our network of affiliated bloggers
I turned 30 earlier this year, and I can see the difference age has had on my body—and not just on my bald head, because, as my loved ones and old friends would tell you, that started over a decade ago.
“You know, in Germany there are hordes of young Syrian men raping German women.” The statement hovered in the air menacingly. I suspected that I was in for an interesting encounter as I watched him stride determinedly toward me after I gave a presentation on the Syrian refugee crisis, and how a group I'm part of has sponsored two families now living in our town in Canada, at a local church recently. His jaw was set and his brow was furrowed.
It is probably in my top five favorite scripture passages in the whole Bible. We are reading it this Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent. It comes up every three years. It is from 2 Corinthians. "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"
In a nation where, increasingly, belief in God cannot be assumed, and where Christianity is losing more and more of its sway in public discourse, what does membership in a church offer? Or, to put it another way, how might we say that church matters? I’m curious how faith leaders might answer these questions because I recently ran across a very difficult sort of answer.
For all of my life in church I have noticed that one of Jesus’ basic formulas for the parables was to begin with, “A certain man had two sons . . . ” and, almost inevitably, the story had to do with how the brothers responded differently, and, on occasion, how they responded to each other. I am the older of two brothers.
It’s Super Tuesday. Lots of people are voting today. And if I had to put money on it, I’d bet a large number of people aren’t voting for someone they love, but someone who best reflects their greatest fears back to them.
There's a saying that's come to have popular acceptance in American faith discourse: my faith is between me and God. We've been hearing a bunch of that lately, particularly from those seeking power, who bristle at the idea that anyone has a right to call their assertions of faith into question.
While I waited for my hair appointment, I chatted with two women over the magazines. They mentioned they were sisters, so I said, “How nice to make your hair a family affair.” “It is nice, but it’s not for a nice reason. Our mother died the other day.”
In Luke 13, Jesus tells a parable about a barren fig tree. The tree is planted in a vineyard, which sounds weird, but fig trees were often used as trellises in vineyards. The owner is unhappy because the tree is not bearing fruit. “Cut it down,” he says. But the vintner says, “I’ll dig around it, fertilize it. Let’s give it one more year.” And the vast majority of the commentaries and reflections I’ve read about this story say something to the effect of, “See, God is willing to give us sinners one more chance.”
The two girls I carry below my heart. The three boys who run circles around me all day long. I want them to be mine. I refer to them as such, of course.