President Trump would not be the only political or religious figure ever to be questioned about fitness for a position. The alchemy of autocratic decision-making with the presumption of self-sufficiency makes for a toxic concoction.
The bustle of the past few weeks slows today. It is a time of reflection and quieting the spirit. Even the relentless urge to consume begins to re-set as the year comes to a close. We realize that we are more than what we possess or give. Like Mary, we ponder what is yet to come.
Pope Francis is visiting Myanmar, where Christians are only about 4 percent to 5 percent of the approximately 55 million people who live there. He hopes to draw attention to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who are being driven out of the Rakhine State into Bangladesh, where they live the liminal reality of refugees.
Many seminaries are in trouble; there are few that are not fragile in some way. Issues include the challenge of recruitment, the burgeoning debt of seminarians, issues of placement for women graduates, the white privilege of which many seminaries are oblivious. It is a “troubled industry.”
We are still trying to catch up with Martin Luther in many areas and there are parts of the Reformation legacy we have not fully realized.
Many clergywomen have voiced their experiences of violation, often perpetrated by friends in seminary, senior pastors and judicatory leaders — many of whom were publicly affirming of women in ministry.
Dictating how God must respond reduces the sovereign one to our level, a risky proposition, indeed.
Those who are spared must not simply rejoice in their seeming “chosenness,” but must use every resource to alleviate the suffering of others. Guilt may not be the best source of motivation, but if it spurs compassion, it is constructive.
Trusting that God is at work empowering humans to work for the good of all is reassuring. It also prompts courageous action. While it is common to think that we are waiting on God, actually both God and others are waiting on us.