It's easy—from the comfort of my desk, where I’m healthy, well fed and securely employed—to experience a sense of "enough," as I wrote last week. It’s easy to champion compassion, justice and peace (what's not to like?), even when it puts me at odds with a few biblical texts.
Life of Faith
Benin. Some rights reserved by Ferdinand Reus.
The lepers all received healing. What a happy shock that must've been! But only one, a Samaritan, returned and thanked Jesus.
Eighty years ago marital counseling was a brand new profession. Today millions of married couples and 40 percent of all engaged couples receive counseling.
So much seems possible when we are traveling. We encounter new people and get to know familiar people in new ways as we share meals, chores and adventures.
The Bible affirms God’s presence. “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex. 33:14) The Bible also names God Deus Absconditus, the Hidden God (Is. 45:15). We hold both in tension.
Many people assume that there has been a steady decline in worship attendance for all the mainline denominations since the mid-1960s—the era when most of them began to see their memberships decline. But trends in attendance have actually followed their own patterns.
Carlyle Marney said that each of us is like a house, with a living room where we entertain and a dark basement where we store the trash. And each house has a balcony with all the people who have influenced and inspired us. The way to celebrate All Saints Day, he said, is to step out onto the front lawn and salute the people on your balcony. One of my balcony people died recently.
The commandments and promises of God are easy to find: they're right there in the Bible. But my students have something else in mind when they refer to "God's will," though it's not easy to say what.