New today: Why humans mess things up, when words fail, things pastors aren't

June 9, 2014

Daily lectionary readings: Psalm 104:24-34, 35bJoel 2:18-29Romans 8:18-24

Saints, commemorations, and other witnesses from the cloud: Columba (Lutheran and Episcopal calendars), Aidan and Bede (Lutheran calendar), Ephrem (Catholic calendar), William CareyCharles Dickens

New today from the Century

Why we mess things up: Sin is real but not 'original,' by Charles Hefling. Does it always happen that humans sin? Obviously not. But is there any chance that they will not sin?

Where words and numbers fail: Matthew 28:16–20, by Jennifer Copeland. It's important not to limit God. God, the “wholly other,” self-named by “to be” verbs, becomes an action verb in the particular person of Jesus of Nazareth—teaching, healing, feeding, dying, rising.

Three things that pastors are not, by Jeff Nelson. In ministry a certain amount of dabbling is inevitable and a certain amount of understanding is necessary, but there come points when certain issues are best left to other professionals.

Feel pain. Love deeply. by Carol Howard Merritt. My teen daughter and I had to see The Fault in Our Stars the day it was released. The actors took on the emotional richness of the characters and the central themes rang with clarity.

"Gravity-defying gratitude," a poem by Grace Hough Carter

In the news

COMMENTARY: Moral Mondays: ‘Democratic tool’ or Great Awakening?

Catholic, Orthodox bishops push for more married priests

British officials plan ‘dawn raids’ to check on Islamic extremism in schools

In the CCblogs network 

Skin in the theology game, by Steve Taylor

Can an “established” church be missional? by April Yamasaki


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We are finite creatures subject to making mistakes

As human beings, we are nothing more than microscopic specs of dust on a telescopic universe. We are finite creatures and subject to making mistakes. I think the interesting thing about it is that we are often expected to be super human. But, we have to realize that at birth, we started out with a defect in our design. Hence, we are imperfect creatures. But just because we mess up, does not mean that God does not have the ability to clean us up. For we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

"But we have to realize"

Clearly expressed. Here is a quote you might like from Ellen Davis' chapter on Ps. 51, "Voluntary Heartbreak," Getting Involved with God, pp. 170-1:
"Rather the psalmist is confronting us with a truth about human life that we almost never acknowledge: every newborn child enters into a web of human relations that is already deeply flawed. We are born morally compromised; the slate is never blank for any of us. By reason of race, gender, social location, our particular parentage, even our individual biological makeup, we were (you might say) "set up" to hurt others and to be hurt by them. That is part of what it means to speak of original sin, a theological notion that has fallen out of fashion but is in fact indispensable to understanding both our guilt and our suffering."
But as you write, we have an Advocate.

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