Selected posts from around our network of affiliated bloggers
On a brutally cold and foggy Friday afternoon, our local sponsorship group welcomed our new Syrian friends to our city in Canada. Several times as I was driving them from the airport to the home we had prepared for them, I wondered what must have going through their minds as they looked out on the frosty white scenes that greeted them. Have they dropped us off at the North Pole?! I couldn’t ask them what they were thinking, of course, because I speak zero Arabic and they speak next to no English.
The Gospel according to Luke has its distinct features: the storybook birth narrative; the poetic songs of Zechariah, Mary, and Simeon; and the heart-warming parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. In this Sunday's lectionary reading (Luke 4:14–21), however, we get to the heart of the matter and hear what truly makes Luke distinct: a Jesus whose focus is salvation for those in need. Only Luke gives us this encounter, in which Jesus chooses for himself a scripture passage that defines his ministry.
Even our small city has its share of violent incidents requiring a forceful response from police. Maybe we’ve been lucky, or maybe being in a small city makes a difference, or maybe our police and sheriff departments are well-trained and well-disciplined. Whatever the reason, we have not had to face questions about whether the police were justified in using deadly force. Recently an armed man with a history of violence sent a text to another household that he was on the way to kill them.
My spouse and I are four-and-a-half years into our adventure of co-pastoring. Will it be our last such adventure? I have no idea. Other married co-pastors have written great things in the last four-and-a-half years, and I am grateful for the wisdom they have shared. As we move further along in this relationship, new and subtle facets of working together emerge, and I think about them, and sometimes share them my husband. There’s a meeting today with the city about some of our building issues, and one of our great members is going and said one of us needed to go with him.
Before I had children, I had a hazy image of life with kids. I don’t think I idealized it as pure ease and smooth delight, but the montage of pictures that would flash through my mind looked much more like parenting’s “best of” reel.
Over the years, I've taught three different series on the Acts of the Apostles, and I'm sure that by the time I hang it up I will have taught at least five more. Each time, I try to do something a little different—never a straight, verse-by-verse exposition of the text but always a particular angle or take on the text as a whole. Most recently, I led a group through an exploration of the first ten chapters of Acts that focused on the different characters of the story. Eventually, we got to Acts 8 and read about Philip, the evangelist who first took the good news of Jesus the Christ to Samaria.