The Bible’s accounts of children provide subversive stories which expose pride, hatred and entrenched, institutionalized evil. These stories remind us that our attitudes toward children reveal much about what is in our own hearts regarding all marginalized and devalued people.
The biblical stories remind us that our lies, cover-ups, excuses and foot-dragging do not make the national blight of sexual misconduct go away.
Every pastor needs ancient reservoirs to sustain relevant ministry.
Let’s name these false deities security, convenience and control. These are not three separate gods. They are the same idols, simply described in different ways, each highlighting different connotations and pointing in slightly different trajectories.
Instead of flailing and screaming against the powers of darkness, we could allow God to transform them into opportunities to trust and grow. When our enemy’s face comes to mind, we could pray for her by name and ask God to bless her. When some controversy hovers over our church family, we could ask what new thing the Spirit is teaching us.
When we use our imaginations, our grief and loss have the potential to become the silent, fertile seedbed for redemptive, life-giving deeds.
There is a reason we use language carefully. Words matter. They have the power to exclude others and to create hurtful categories.
We don’t need more court preachers who have sold their souls for a mess of political porridge. We need prophets who will stand above partisan wrangling in order to speak truth to power.
During the recent Advent season, I challenged my congregation to savor the music of the holidays, and to listen with fresh ears to both the lyrics and melodies which carry our deepest longings and joys. As usual, in attempting to…