The First Day of the Week

On the first day of the week we became Easter People.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made in the beginning, has initiated the new creation.  Just as in the first beginning, Jesus completed the work—living among us, proclaiming Kingdom-come, casting out demons, healing the sick, mending the broken, confronting the powers and the evil that pulls their strings, taking their best shot, and dying—crying, “It is finished!”  His cry turned out to be the most delightful and wonderful double entendre.  The powers, of course, understood the one meaning—yes, indeed, would-be Messiah and King dead as dead can be, problem solved!  But they had no idea.  Later the Apostle Paul would observe, if they had had any …

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses a crowd. August 4, 1965. Washington Post staff photo by Ellsworth Davis.

THE DREAM LIVES ON

On this day marking the life, leadership and martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we should pause to give thanks that indeed black lives matter!  I am grateful that the life of Dr. King, a man of color, mattered so profoundly, though cut so tragically short.  It would do us all good to read again his now famous speech about the dream that he had.  (If you are reading this you can find it!) The basic cause for which he stood and was killed is indisputably consistent with the tenets of Jesus’ teaching and way of life.  That all persons belong by rights—creation rights—to the One God who Self-reveals in the person of Jesus; and that God claims them all in love, …

POLITICAL QUESTIONS—IS THERE HOPE?

Liar vs. Lecher. That could well be what the marquee reads out front of today’s political arena.  The followers of each engage in fierce fighting for their contender—“fanatical” seems apt to me as a normative, rather than extreme, descriptor.  In one corner, just as some alleged lies fade into the past a new spate of emails comes to light.  Sadly, it might be that deals were discussed, quid pro quo in nature, that stretches her credibility beyond the breaking point for many.   In the other corner, just as the lechery stands fully exposed more professed victims come forward.  Sadly, in the most recent cases the alleged lecher responds in ways that themselves seem dismissive, abusive and cluelessly aggravating.  More sadly, …

This is our Story, our Song

I’ve been thinking about that classic gospel song, Fannie Crosby, Blessed Assurance, especially its chorus, which I would adjust slightly, as follows: this is our story, this is our song, praising our savior all the day long! I’d would suggest that in ways far beyond what Crosby could have foreseen, this chorus is so apt, as we recall and live into who we are, what our story is and the song we’ve always sung at our best. Ours is the story of a great God who is supremely good, creating in love a world very-good, and placing it in the care of beloved image-bearers. And though the story got hijacked and diverted, our great God did not give up, but …

Missional Mal-Practice

Hardly anyone gets kicked out of the church because they did nothing.  Even among the clergy, who are employed, we seldom relieve them for “doing nothing.”  Can you imagine members of the church being brought up on charges of inactivity—for doing nothing right or nothing period?  Our practice might suggest there could be no such thing as “missional mal-practice.” But not if we read Jesus’ story carefully.  In fact, within the story it is hard to distinguish Jesus’ call to discipleship—conversion and new life let us say, from Jesus’ call to participate in doing what Jesus does.  The most basic call of Jesus is to follow him, and it is in following that the call is accepted.  In the absence …