Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Come Out of Your Self Made Lands


When we walk miles and miles with God, we reclaim our kinship with God, from whose heart we were shaped. We can no longer divide the human community into “friends” and “others,” and we discover rather quickly that there are no strangers or aliens in God’s country.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Prophetic Citizenship of Renunciation


What can we learn from the Devil?

Jesus rejects all forms of dominion and power over one another than enrich individuals at the expense of the broader community. God rejects all religious, social, political power that demands total allegiance. And by this rejection, we are invited to reject such power as well - and entrust ourselves to God.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Monday, March 2, 2020

Ash Wednesday: Raise the White Flag


It’s good to have an intro rock anthem. My new fave right now is Sarah McLaughlin’s White Flag.

Anthems buttress us whatever others might do, if we feel alone, outnumbered, and we need a little something to encourage us forward.

But that is not what Ash Wednesday is about. We need to raise the white flag and be ready to put our hope in God.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Charged with Grandeur


We are often fooled into believing in different narratives. School, politics, Twitter, whatever. They buttress our own buffered selves, souls, and egos, reassuring us: "no, really, you are alone."

The Gospel offers something very different. God beckons us into God’s community - and invites us to imagine the grandeur of God and God’s hope for us.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Center of Community


No one can live perfectly - and that’s the point.

What we understand immediately is that we cannot possibly achieve these things without Jesus.

Not a community that has escaped from the world, but a community that is engaged in remaking itself for the sake of the world.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Monday, February 10, 2020

Our Work is a Body of Art


The church is not the sum of the people who call themselves Christian. The church is the sum of people who do these things:

Find in the world Christ and to join God there, pointing God out, revealing and living the narrative where God is the primary character. Perform acts of service; intervene in the world.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Thursday, January 30, 2020

"Follow" is More of a Command


God as christ Jesus literally enters the world and commands the fishermen to follow.

When churches become escapes and spiritual temples separated from the world, buffered from the goings on outside their doors, they are all too easily silenced by the principalities and powers of the world.

But Jesus will not let us go.

Matthew 4:12-23

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Monday, January 27, 2020

God Intervenes in a Retreating World


It's a radical notion in a world of unreality, with all manner of worldly opportunities to withdraw from each other:

We are not spiritual beings having a human experience - no, we are humans made of spirit and flesh, and we are meant for one another.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Listen to Hannah's Song


There can be no socio-religious indifference, no Christian solitary life, in a community that sings Hannah’s song.

Preached at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Monday, January 13, 2020

God Chooses - Just Like That


The Holy Spirit comes down then, on everybody. Peter’s friends are so astonished - what does all this mean? They come to understand. God’s Spirit falls upon whoever God’s Spirit wishes to fall upon. God loves even “these” people. Even “these” people. Just like that.

You and I don’t get to decide who God loves. God decides - just like that.

Acts 10

Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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Quotes

  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball