Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes!

"We perhaps have regarded Jesus too exclusively as a hero and not permitted him the status of friend who would value our criticism and contributions, regard the challenges we pose with greater interest than he would our obedience, and be made more aware and caring by our pain, dreams, and demands. If the ministry of Jesus is indeed to the needs and interests of people rather than in the service of principalities of the social order, then we are needed to participate in and expand the ministry."
-Gary David Comstock

Same Story

This echos through society form the heights of CEOs and capital hill all the way to middle class families in middle America.

Hear the word of Yahweh, O people of Israel;
for Yahweh has a divorce case against the inhabitants of the land.
There is no truth or steadfast love,
and no knowledge of God in the land.
Swearing, lying, and murder,
and stealing and adultery break out;
bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who live in it languish;
together with the wild animals
and the birds of the air,
even the fish of the sea are perishing. Hos Hosea's 4:13

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
Can it be that simple?
Sometimes we make everything so complicated that we hear and see Hosea's phrophecy taking form, but we've complicate everything with information, deeds, ministry, church, truth, seminary, just war, biblical scholars, congregations, denominations.... and I could go on and on, that we never get around to just loving people.

I just pray that I am not becoming who Jesus hated, Pharisees. Look into the mirror the Gospel puts in-front of us and most of what we do is more pharisaic than it is Jesus like.

Love your God, Love your Neighbor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Faith of the Centurion


Jesus had never seen such faith as that of the Centurions and was amazed. To myknowledge, I can not think of any other time in the gospels that Jesus expresses amazement. So what then is so uniqu about this man's faith?

This has been haunting me the past few weeks and I would like to share my struggle with the rest of the world to discover some possibilities about why and how the faith of the Centurion amazes Jesus.

BECAUSE thats what I want of my life, TO AMAZE JESUS.

The Faith of the Centurion

When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Community

"If there is a Christian duty, task, or project, it is not to give to others, but to create and be in community in which people can give, contribute, and feel valuable. I understand Christian ministry to be the building of community in which people are encouraged to participate and contribute, to share and develop themselves, to be taken seriously, to take others seriously, to recognize and be recognized. In using Paul's metaphor of the body of Christ for community, this ministry would be considered resurrectional ministry-that is, the continual making, expanding, and enriching of community, the raising up of community through the ongoing task of including and empowering its members. In Exodus terms, it would be a ministry of moving out of the bondage, alienation, and separation into the freedom of whole community, into the freedom of being who we are and can be, with and because of others"
-Gary David Comstock, Gay Theology Without Apology

Monday, March 23, 2009

"But he went to seminary, so I'll let him do the spiritual stuff"


"The primitive Church had no New Testament, no thought out theology, no stereotyped traditions. The men who took Christianity to the Gentile world had no special training, only a great experience-in which 'all maxims and philosophies were reduced to the simple task of walking in the light since the light had come."
-B.H. Streeter, Twentieth-Century English theologian and biblical scholar.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Will we ever know the answers?


Who says that the essential question has an answer? The essence of man is to be a question, and the essence of a question is to be without an answer?

But to say, "What is God? What is the World? What is my friend?" is to say that I have someone to talk to, someone to ask a question of.

The DEPTH, the meaning, the very SALT of man is his constant desire to ask the question ever deeper within himself, to feel ever more INTIMATELY the existence of an unknowable answer.

Eli Wiesel, The Town Beyond The Wall

If there is anyone in the world that has the justification to ask deep unanswerable questions of God and deserve a response, it is Eli Wiesel. The picture is of him at age 15, just before he was deported to Auschwitz.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is wrong with the world?


"I am."
-G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Searching

Mahatma Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, he said "No". Then they asked where they could find some, and he responded by saying, "Ask the poor, they will tell you who the Christians are."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Freedom

A favorite poem of mine that's imagery has always spoke to my heart

"Long my spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature night. I difused the quikening ray, I woke the dungeon flammed with light, my chains fell my heart was free. I rose, went forth, and followed thee."


"Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
Acts 13:38-39

Friday, March 6, 2009

God's Love

“I will love god because he first loved me. I will obey God because I love God. But if I cannot accept god’s love I cannot love him in return, and I cannot obey him. Self discipline will never make us fell righteous or clean; accepting God’s unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return. Accepting God’s kindness and free love is something the Devil does not want us to do. If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness, He changes our character with the passion of His love.”

-Donald Miller

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's the steeple really pointing to?


"The social location of the church meeting expresses and influences the character of the church. If you assume that where the church gathers is simply a matter of convenience, you are tragically mistaken. You are overlooking a basic reality of humanity. Every building we encounter elicits a response from us. By its interior and exterior, it explicitly shows us what the church is and how it functions."
Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity