Showing posts from September, 2012

Jesus For President, Proper 20 Year B

Yesterday, at a local festival I saw a man wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt that said “In the world, not of it”.  Now, this reference to the letter to the Romans directly addresses the tension that we as Christians often find ourselves facing.  We are called to be in the world yet we are also called to hold ourselves apart.  We are a people of God, yet we live in this world.    
Now this tension is not new to us, and as the early Christian communities formed they found themselves wrestling with how to live their lives as Christians.  It’s hard to imagine, but early Christians were a tiny minority and were surrounded by the monolithic and oppressive Roman empire.  So, as we read the letter of James, we need to picture a small Jewish Christian community that faces intense external pressure.  But, this letter, while it does concern itself with calling this community to stand as a voice against the dominant culture, is mostly concerned with the reality that these early Christians weren’t …



strip away everything
the titles the degrees ambitions and success as we've been taught
to save or not
till nothing but yourself and  me and  the others just us people 
grounded in something that exists beyond ourselves within ourselves
flesh  and bone  and  noise and  silence in  dialogue to create or destroy
yet here we are
assuming  the world assuming

Is the Church Relevant?

I just heard from someone very dear to me in a congregation I once served.  Apart from the sheer delight of seeing her lovely handwritten note, her words about how well the hot meal program that the congregation started, shortly before I left, made my heart swell.  At first I thought of how proud I am of the work they've done.  But, pride isn't the word for this--this stepping outside of the usual comfort of doing what has always been done and embracing the possibility of making change in both their neighborhood and in their lives.  For this congregation, what has "what has always been" has given way to "what can we do now?"  A better word would be "inspired" and "hopeful" or even "filled".

Inspired because, well, they did it.  In the midst of major change and hurting hearts, they stepped up and decided that the command to serve their neighbors superseded their fear of what was to come and how they would survive.

Hopeful, beca…

8 years

As of today, I've been married for 8 years.

And, a marriage is exactly what we have.  We love, we live, we cry, we laugh, we are.  Together we have celebrated and mourned.

We like board games and hiking, we bicker over who should do the "handwashes" after dinner.

We have a 2 year old son.  He calls us "Mama and Mommy".  When he is referring to both of us he sometimes calls us "Mema".  He calls himself "Aye-Aye".

We've been up in the middle of the night with him when he's been sick.  We've been up with each other in the middle of the night when one of us can't sleep.

Sometimes, if I have a nightmare, I wake up my wife.  She reassures me that everything is okay.

We try to get to church together regularly, that is, when I'm not the one "in charge".

When my mom died, my wife was there for me.  When my wife mourns the grandfather our son will never know, I am there.

Life is good.

And, when the whole country seem…