Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 28, 2010
The two texts proposed by the lectionary list for this day talk about theophany (the theological-ese word for "the auto or self-revelation of God."  They relate the identification of Jesus in a miraculously theological way as the Messiah, the Son of God; and also God concluding the covenant with Abraham.  The disciples don't get what's happening, even when they realize that the heavens are open, that the divine voice identifies Jesus as the One, their response reveals that they don't really grasp what that means for them in the moment or for the world in general.  They want to build a house to stay there, maybe some sort of tabernacle so that this moment can be preserved forever.  Yet Jesus is calling them - and is called himself - into the world, to action, to radical loving that transforms all through nonviolent acts of grace, compassion and justice - to practice resurrection in daily life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bumper Sticker of the Week

OK.  This isn't a sticker (I've run out of e-files of them) yet it's a hilarious image from a friend's facebook page.  It recalls a very funny moment on the Ellen show last year.  One that still makes me chuckle when I think of it.  I actually had a handful of thoughtful conversations about faith and life because of the show .  I think we tend to overlook the ways in which pop culture - even bumperstickers - can invite to discussion not simply proclaim one's values or moral sense.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love: Cupid or Stupid?

Living cross-culturally always provides for insight, discovery and cultural challenge.  Culture is so much an innate part of the basic fabric of our lives that we don't always see it, nor can we be aware of it.  Valentine's Day is a big thing in America.  True - like in Europe - it's a money-maker for restaurants, florists and other commercial activities.  Yet the now-traditional and historically-exaggerated celebration of the Martyr Valentine isn't just about lovers, over-priced roses or reserving a table months in advance.  It's about love, saying it, expressing it, celebrating it.  This year our children have been decorating for weeks, making cards, boxes to receive Valentine's all the familiar kid things that happen in America and yet are so foreign here in France.  So we had a giant celebration with yesterday at home with about 8 cupcakes for each person.  Here in France, it's purely commercial, for lovers, seen as something that cheapen,s, consumerises and cheapifys love.  Yet maybe the international, and multi-cultural visions of Valentine's Day are actually revelatory of the ways in which love has been commodified, capitalized and codified in our cultures.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Advertising & Faith

I read an interesting article in SF Gate this morning detailing a current ad campaign "good without God?" (now playing in and around Sacramento after previous stops elsewhere) that is "plugging" atheism.  The article is interesting.  The best part for me was to read the comments and see the inter-faith bickering, name-calling and fighting. It made me wonder: can you actually advertise faith, or non-faith?  Does it even matter, or reach anyone?  Or is it merely preaching to the choir and rallying the troops around the flag-pole?

Here's some of the billboards in and around Sactown.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday February 14, 2010

What is life about?  How do you live a good life?  What is a good life?  Jesus offers a vision of a nonviolent world of peace, fullness and God-centered-ness in his beatitude teaching, as Luke tells it.  Paul talks about resurrection and how it informs and forms faith.  It's hard to know what "blessed" means in a world in which blessings are associated with brief pre-dinner prayers, year-end compensation, or miraculous salvation from sickness and disaster.  Can you be blessed in everyday life?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday February 7th

Stories about our vocation to the mission we have as the people of God is what dominates the texts for Sunday.  Isaiah is called to serve as prophet, not to tell the future, but to speak God's word for the present, to give a different perspective to those around him.  His response is one of availability "here I am" to be used for God and to part from his past into and towards a new or emerging future "send me."

Luke tells his version of the miraculous fish-catch encounter as one of vocation of the first disciples.  Jesus comes to them, in their terms and on their turf to invite them to step out, to set their boats towards deeper waters, beyond the safety of the shoreline, to cast their nets in unfamiliar ways.  They're called to reprioritize their life, leaving behind the abundant catch of fish for the risk and potential of the unknown future of following after Jesus.  They're encouraged to try again, to despite their potential disgust, despair or disappointment with their lack of catching anything until then, to try again.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bumper Sticker of the Week

This is my last one for a while.  (Thanks Nani!) I've run out.
If you see any good ones, email me a photo!
Blogging Backwards towards January 31

The passages proposed for Sunday play with the themes of hearing, seeing and recognizing the presence of God and the living Word of God in our lives both individual and together as the community of faith.

I found this funny image while surfing the internet that illustrates the paradox of the texts: