As a child born in South Korea, I was taught that every North Korean is evil. As an adult, I found myself face to face with one.
Those of us in violence-plagued neighborhoods look forward to winter's reprieve. Our teenagers understand Advent waiting all too well.
If Martin Luther King Jr. had written a book exposing his personal failings, it would have been seen as undermining his cause. But Leymah Gbowee does not want to be thought of as a hero.
Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4 (Luke 1:68-79); Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6
Isaiah 40:1-11 (Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13); 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
"I have to tell you about Maggy," my colleague said excitedly. He had just returned from meetings with church leaders in east-central Africa. "Love made me an inventor," Marguerite "Maggy" Barankitse had told the group. The more she talked, the more my colleagues wanted to see Maggy's Maison Shalom (House of Peace), near Ruyigi, Burundi. There, after the horrors of civil war 15 years ago, she has rebuilt her village. It's an extraordinary resurrection story.
Isaiah gives us a vision of what the new anointed one will be like, what gifts he will have and how he will be someone run by Elsewhere—not by the criteria of groupthink, of lobbying groups. His criteria will give voice to the meek who have no voice and don’t know how to use a voice. His words will become the criteria for everything, much to the dismay of the wicked.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians puts me in mind of the annual ritual of Christmas letters and how much I enjoy receiving them, though I have to admit that sometimes the correspondence can veer off into the stratosphere of braggadocio. You know the type.
Mercy is not what we’re about, and I suspect we don’t want our God to be about it, either.