“Providence does not mean that we have no free will. God’s providence does not rule out human freedom. Providence is not opposed to cooperation with God. Providence does not mean we are off the hook or that we have no sense of responsibility when it comes to spiritual growth. Rather, we cooperate with God as we grow in our faith by practicing spiritual disciplines or the means of grace.”
There is a moment you stand on the brink, or the brink stands on you. The inexorable draw pulls you in, like gravity, like…
Our world needs to be new again: reborn, pressed against the chest of its Creator. Do galaxies have a newborn smell? Do subatomic particles dance with the hard-to-predict movements of a newborn’s kicking legs? In the youth of the world, did the trees yawn the contented sigh of a just-nursed newborn?
My sister, after years away from the faith, came home to Christ in the Lutheran church. The transition back into the church world, while…
Oh, God, love – it hurts. It hurts to want to be loved. It hurts to refuse or betray love. It hurts to lose love. And the pastor or priest bending with blackened thumb and murmuring says, I see your pain. It is recognized. Today others will see it too. You have a chance. Love Made Flesh bleeds for you.
As unpopular as it may seem the reality of Advent is that it doesn’t need to occur in the best of circumstances. In fact, Jesus was born in the midst of terrorism and heinous acts against human life.
According to Scripture, then, the post-deluge world is like Eden, but diminished; in contrast, the new heavens and new earth will be like Eden, but elevated.
One of the great blessings in life is to celebrate the ways that God works and moves. Sometimes, in our bid to stay humble, we can forget to give testimony to what God has done.
The bells that tolled, according to John Donne, were a sign to those who heard that we are all mortal and meet the same end known as death; that when one dies a part of all of us dies. The stone that rolled, according to Matthew, was a sign to those who witness it that the end known as death is not, in fact, the end. And therefore, it is okay to send for whom the stone rolls. It rolls for thee! The stone rolls for us! And when we hear the sound of the stone rolling, it rings in our ears that the main thing that draws nearer to us is not death, but resurrection! Triumphant grace! Grace that declares death doesn’t have the final word. But that one day there will be no more crying, no more death…
“Who is God? Emmanuel, Word-Made-Flesh, Jesus Christ the fully divine, fully mortal. And the Book of Revelation is understood through Emmanuel, God with us, who makes all things new – new, say, as a newborn, fists tight, eyes blinking, with that delicious newborn smell and tiny tufts of hair. Our world needs to be new again: reborn, pressed against the chest of its Creator.”