We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way (Isaiah 53:6). This is the spiritual state of the world. We are all prone to wander. What causes us to wander away from God and how does God seek to reclaim his own?
I grew up Catholic but when I went to college I stopped going to mass. The only time I remember going was during Holy Week (Holy Week leads up to Easter). I attended a Maundy/Holy Thursday service. I went because I thought I might witness the Stations of the Cross. They did not give the Stations that evening. I missed it and it is one of the traditions that I miss from my Catholic days. I did not go the next day of any other day afterward. I thought, “this may be last time I go to church.” Little did I know, God had different plans.
Walter Brueggemann makes a case for God’s people to recapture the prophetic imagination of God’s prophets. He calls us to recapture it because we are encapsulated by our surrounding, dominant, and pervasive culture. Starting with Moses he demonstrates to the reader how God’s people are to be a part of an alternative community. Moses was not simply interested in social justice but he was preaching a message that ushered in God’s re-creation. The Israelites had been enslaved so long that they did not know an alternative to their way of life as slaves.
Here’s some Saint Patty Day info! Saint Patrick was a 5th century bishop who helped convert Ireland to Christianity. He is depicted with a cross in one hand and a shamrock in the other. It is told that Patrick would use the the three leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity to those he was converting. The colors blue and green have both been associated with Saint Patricks with green taking prominence through the influence of the political group, the United Irishmen. Continue reading
“There is no such thing as lone ranger Christianity in the New Testament; there is no suggestion that a person can be vitally united with Christ and growing spiritually apart from the church.” – Roger E. Olson.
I’ve got some great links to share this week! You may have heard it said that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Humility today would make anyone’s top ten list of positive character traits. Humility is a virtue and it is listed high on theoretical importance, yet it is eroded by our western culture’s pull towards power and status. We pursue happiness and fulfillment through selfish ambition. True ambition is the pursuit of loving God and everybody more. Continue reading
Do we receive grace from God through sacraments? In this blog, I comment on three quotes from John Mark Hicks regarding the gathered church, communion, and baptism. Continue reading