We live in culture plagued by a vicious cycles of instant and incessant gratification. We want to quench our thirst, satisfy our hunger – and we want it our way! Our culture has become a society defined as consumer and consumeristic. In the midst of our hungers and thirsts (which are natural) somehow we get lost. The fear that there isn’t enough to go around, leads us to symbiotic anxiety and mistrust. We need to get ours or get git. In such presumed scarcity our needs are morphed into wants, desires and fantasies. We want it all, otherwise we might not get any. We want it how and when we want it, otherwise it might not be around. And yet the God of the Bible points towards a different way of life together, a community of koinonia or fellowship based upon the shared life-transforming experience of God’s love known in Jesus of Nazareth who gave his life rather than give into the anxiety of scarcity. His sacrifice changes everything, giving us a new lens through which to see the world as it truly is. How do we live this paradoxical truth by faith in a society based upon the myth of scarcity? How do we love our neighbor when we are told that our neighbor is out to get what we have? How do we testify to a life-sustaining God in a culture in which we are told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and to save ourselves, because no one else will?
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Blogging Towards Sunday, October 28th
The Exodus. This is the big climax (or is it?) of the story of the Exodus the Israelites are free. Chased out of Egypt, they pillage their former slave masters. They leave not just free, but masters of their own future. But quickly Pharaoh changes his mind, and the greatest army of earth sets off in pursuit of a ragtag bunch of slaves hobbling along with their cripple and lame, their livestock and unleavened bread. And just as quickly the Israelites change their mind about the nature and purpose of God. They seem to lose faith. Is this story just history, myth, good story or does it have something to say about the way that we live and an answer to our own metaphysical questions about the existence and activity of God?
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Blogging Towards Sunday, October 21st
Passover: it’s the beginning of months, the religious festival that marks time from the freedom of Israel from slavery, it’s the celebration of the experience of God’s redemptive action – it turns the past into a celebration of the future. As Christians we don’t necessarily follow, observe or celebrate Passover – and yet it’s more than just history, more than just the cultural background of the world of Jesus. It’s also an invitation to us as seekers of God, followers of the teachings of Jesus, and practitioners seeking our center in the Spirit. Passover is an invitation for all those who follow God to live with a new sense of time, a new sense of social relationships and identity, and to have a new relationship to the past and the future.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Blogging Towards Sunday, October 14th
Freedom: it’s the bedrock value of our national identity. Freedom is also at the heart of what it means to be a follow of Jesus the Christ, who promised, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) And yet how often do we feel truly free – to see and be who we are? Are our actions determined by our past, our psychological baggage, family systems, our racial and cultural identity, our educational experience, and our faith journey? Exodus wrestles with the metaphysical question: From what are we free? What are we given freedom to do? Can you have freedom and yet have constraints, rules or limits? It’s not just a question for adolescents. We are faced with our freedom in terms of the decisions we’ve made, or not made, in our lives, in our relationships, and the paths for action that seem to lay before us.