Retaliators or Reconcilers?

We were all shocked to learn of the massacre of 49 persons in New Zealand, in two Mosques, during Friday prayers.  Thirty-nine others are in the hospital, eleven in critical condition. Then, again, such massacres have become common; so common that over time they shock us less and less.  In fact, we live in a world regularly rocked, savaged, by absolutely horrible and violent things that people do to others.  Sadly, often the violence runs rampant in the name of religion; and always because the perpetrators assume a superiority over others. Whether based on religious, political, racial, or cultural grounds, the perpetrators assume they are above others, justified in hating others, and willing to strike against and kill the others.   …

On Convincing … the World?

The ancient people of God no less than the first Christians lived their lives in a pluralistic world.  In fact, it is only recently that we have come to a place, where after generations of having it “our way” more or less, in a kind of Western, modern, Judeo-Christian  ghetto (from a more global perspective), that it strikes us as odd and challenging to live in and deal with the dynamics of a multi-cultural, pluralistic world.  Much of what strikes us as so strange and profoundly challenging was expected and normal for the historic people of God.  I’m referring to such things as the presence and relative vitality of several spiritual thought and life systems which people around us consider …

In Bethlehem’s Babe God Moves In

Five years ago, Lavone and I moved from Greenville, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana.  It was the smoothest and most care-free move we’ve ever had.  We are grateful beyond words, and more comfortable than we deserve in our home (which because of travel still seems quite new).  All the more so, when we acknowledge this Christmas time that more than 68 million people in today’s world are displaced from their home, among them in excess of 25 million refugees.  Make no mistake: The vast majority of the displaced would give anything to be home.  Similarly, the vast majority of refugees are the victims of injustice perpetrated against them and their loved ones.   Christmas is about Another who moved into places …

No, Mary Didn’t Know

Of course, that is the point of the song, isn’t it?  Mary could never have guessed all that her child, hers yet God’s, would do.  The exploits, the healing, the mastery of all powers earthly and heavenly, and the use of them all to love people whole and well.  Then again, had Mary thought about what we so easily take for granted she might have guessed.  After all, we’re talking about God—almighty, everlasting, creator, redeemer GOD.  Had she thought as we now assume, she might well have expected many coming attractions filled with jaw-dropping exploits.  She might even have expected more and different than the story actually reveals. But Mary’s mind, so far as we know, didn’t go there.  Instead, …

A PEOPLE POISED TO CHANGE THE WORLD

The 21st century world—what challenges and opportunities there are for a people of good news! I am convinced of three things I want to share with you:                                                                              First, our 21st century world desperately needs the good news of Jesus Christ; Second, the Methodist/Wesleyan movement is ideally suited to respond to the world’s need in a way that can transform persons, families, nations and world. Third, as at the beginning of Methodism, Spirit led and anointed use of AVAILABLE “means” or “strategies” will …