Monday, November 30, 2009
Malchi 4:1-4 | Luke 1:68-79 | Luke 3:1-6
Advent is a time of preparation, anticipation, staying awake - not in view of decorating our house, making a list and checking it twice or waiting up for the jolly old guy in red; as much as it is about a future-oriented hope, expectation and active waiting. The texts this week remind us to hunger and thirst as God does: for justice, for a reign in which the oppressed and the oppressors live together in peace, in which the lion and lamb lay together, a pardoxal reversal of the world as we know it. But how does it come?
It's not a new word, it's the Word that God has spoken from prophet to prophet, from age to age. But how does it come? What's up with God taking so long? Or maybe it's just an empty promise, a metaphorical response to the presence of Evil in our world.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving ! | ?
In general at Thanksgiving we're ready for a good laugh, the chance to relax and be with family and friends, to eat, but most of all it's the time together that we remember: watching a game or a parade, the smells while hanging out in the kitchen, the post-dinner clean-up, the late-night snacking.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The World is Just Awesome
I saw this video on a friend's Facebook page. Yes it's a fun advertisement and also found it to be an interesting response to last week's lectionary text from Mark 13 and an invitation to reflect upon how we react and engage the world in which we live. Definitely more my style than the choice of flight and withdrawl that might be more expressed in the 2012 film, or the emerging fear of apocalyptic destruction and judgment looking forward to auspicious date December 21, 2012 in the Mayan calendar.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Evangelism: has it seen its day?
This American Life had a recent very interesting interview about evangelism as a scam, a basic bait-and-switch pattern that the church didn't learn from imitating Jesus, but rather shamelessly adopted from corporate America. The interview with Jim Henderson is interesting and worth a listen [link].
He also has an interesting movement being spearheaded through his site: offthemap.com
and a great video that you can use for your own stuff on vimeo:
The Spiritual Discipline of Serving from Recycle Your Faith on Vimeo.
Thanks to Matt for the connection.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Day of Memory : November 11th
Vernouillet at an inter-religious ceremony commemorating November 11th, end official end of WW1. The theme of "solidarity for peace" - quite a French theme and experience, and one that has been poignant for today. It began with the moderator introducing me (I spoke with a Priest, Rabbi and Almost Imam [sounds like the beginning of a joke]) as the newbie and an American. He began crying, expressing his gratitude for the Americans who came and died in Europe twice in 30 years for freedom. Moving and unexpected.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Can Virtual Church Be Literally Fulfilling?
LINK to the video report]. [LINK to lifechurch.tv] Interesting video that asks a question that's been being discussed for several years in certain corners and sub-populations of the church community.
I found striking the commentators remarks towards the beginning. It's high ceilings, windows and everyone together - those are the things that remind her of church. In an age of transformation and redefinition of most of our experiences in daily life because of technological advancement, our approach to pluralism and cultural diversity and the global market-place, church - religious community and experience - also needs to be redefined, or does it?
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Blogging Towards Sunday, November 8th
Familiar text that we often regulate to a stereotypical reading that glorifies the generosity of a poor widow, I suspect that we are so blinded by her extreme example that we become incapable of living into the generous way of life Jesus is calling us to. She gives all that she has, 2 coins (lepton, worth about 1/64th of a day's wage for a typical worker). The coins weren't worth much, or anything in the day. Yet it's all she has. So she gives it by faith and in faith. Whereas the scribes make themselves known and visible by their actions and supposed generosity, she enters into the worship space and lives our her faith without seeking attention and glory. Faithfulness in action.
It's a great story. Yet often we've read it saying that it's a horrible excuse to deprive the poor even more, or a vain attempt to say that we, the good and faithful Christians, are like the widow and others are like the scribes. I suspect the text is more than just a black and white comparison between the scribe and the widow as examples of faithfulness. It's an invitation to recognize that the scribes weren't just blinded by their ambition, they were blinded to the fundamental meaning of the Torah. It's a juxtaposition between the ambiguity of institutions and systems and the demands of faithfulness.