And in our gospel passage, Mary of course – like all of us on this side of death – is not yet fully awake. She makes first contact with the resurrected Jesus, and it’s about as awkward as Peter embarrassing himself by trying to pitch a tent on Mount Tabor. Mary’s problem is that she thinks Jesus is dead, and when she sees that he’s gone, she consoles herself by saying, “they have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
A wise art teacher used to say, “Make art that won’t be burnt up.” He meant, make art that will outlast the last judgment. Make art that will count as one of the “glories of the nations” brought into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:26). Beauty attracts us, even when our reasons are unconvinced.
Churches have personalities, expressed through their organization, Christian education
processes, preaching, and worship. Each can have strengths and challenges, but the diversity is reflective of the differences we see in people, including the
Instead of focusing on which
organizational structure or form of worship we prefer, we need to ask if our church is manifesting Christ to the world.
Yesterday was the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday; “gaudete” is Latin for “rejoice.” Even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals that joy and rejoicing are an inevitable overflow in the lives of people who have understood and experienced God at work in their lives.
Many churches are currently setting up Advent wreaths to mark the weeks leading up to Christmas. The four candles that encircle the wreath illuminate…
My first appointment out of seminary was the hardest appointment that I’ve ever had. It wasn’t because the people were hard to pastor: they…
Methodists are good at counting. The numerous records that have been kept over the years of “conversions,” “probationary members,” and the like, are a…
A celebration of Easter without a prior descent into the grave is dishonest and naïve, just as observing Lent without the uncompromising proclamation of the Resurrection is hopeless.
Someone living with an anxiety disorder (or any medical condition) that makes being in loud, dark areas or separated from family unendurable does not feel welcomed. This is not a commentary on the theology or religiosity of the “turn up the volume and dim the lights, no children allowed” movement. The concern here is how the Body of Christ meets those who would dare join in for worship.
Jesus did not come to give us answers. He came to give us himself. And Bonhoeffer says that that’s what it means to live in the penultimate as a Christian, to live in it the way Jesus did. It means that we are to join others in their suffering, to try and understand what other people have to put up with in their lives.