BUT … IT IS POLITICAL!

In recent days I have heard several people say something like: “I am not trying to be political, now, …” or “Please don’t take this as a political statement,” or “Not to be political but … !”  I think I know what each was trying to say, or not to say.  But each time I thought to myself, “But … it is political!” They were making a point about the church or the gospel or what they believed to be an appropriate response to present circumstances, and they offered this disclaimer.  They were not trying or wishing to be “political.” But how can people who follow Jesus as their Messiah, that is “King,” speak about or act upon their faith …

IF JESUS WERE AN IMMIGRANT

A lot of people are talking about immigration and immigrants these days.  Whether for or against;  whether the gospel Jesus proclaimed and embodied has anything to do with it, and if so what; whether immigrants pose a threat to us, and if they do exactly what sort of threat—inconvenience, discomfort, danger, death; whether immigrants from some groups should be treated differently than others; whether immigrants from places predominantly Muslim pose more of a threat than those from other places—these and many other questions enliven or deaden the multiple media enveloping our lives these days.  The Free Methodist Church offers a well-written, reasoned, biblically shaped and practical position on matters of immigration that I thoroughly affirm and commend to all followers …

THE GLORY AND THE PEACE

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace for people of God’s good will (Luke 2:14).” It is common to pass quickly from these traditional words of praise to the detailed account of what the Shepherds discovered at the Bethlehem crèche—the child swaddled, parents adoringly attending, and the animals carrying on as usual.  Stunning was the discovery just as the Heavenly Host had described!  Stunning enough to explain the rush to see “this thing that God has done and revealed to us,” (2:15). One reason we so quickly move from the sheep and fields to the village manger traces I think to an assumed split between heaven and earth which moderns accept as self-evident.  Heaven is there and …

Worship on Independence Weekend

Several years ago, the Fourth of July was on Sunday, and we were on a vacation.  As is our custom, Lavone and I went to a worship service that Holiday Sunday morning.  As soon as we entered, however, I knew we were “in trouble!”  There were numerous U.S. flags displayed over the front of the sanctuary.  In fact, the presence and visibility of the flag overshadowed that of the cross.  I had to look carefully even to identify the cross on the communion table in front of the pulpit and also on each of the shades covering our overhead lights.   Off to one side was a larger U. S. flag on a flag pole in front of which a U.S. …

Jesus Comes for Us and for All

The Lord our God loves, chooses, and works with/through a people to right the wrong of their lives and world, whatever, however, whenever But, the Lord does so, not just for them, but for all, as many as will … The Lord loves his own, so that he may love all. The Lord comes to his own, so that he may come to all. The Lord touches, forgives, heals, transforms—saves—his own, so that he may for all. The Lord’s people receive these amazing and abundant graces from their Lord, as part of their Lord’s plan for all. Ponder the good news of Christmas in this light—for and through one, for all.  Imagine these words for one or for some, yet …