an open and honest discussion of two common (incorrect) ideas among churches and Christians: 1) what someone says they believe is what they actually believe, and 2) Christianity is little more than a list of ideas and propositions that are either accepted or rejected, with little to no bearing on an individual’s life. discussion of the issues with these ideas, and what their adoption means for Christian relationship.
May you sing to the Lord songs of joyous praise,
your heart connected to the heart of Christ.
May you pause to consider the depth of his grace and mercy,
his hand moving in the events of your life.
And may you daily encounter God
in sound and silence
in community and alone
drawn to the creator of the universe,
captivated by his very being.
a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago at coth… hopefully a couple from today will be posted within a few days.
other pictures available here.
May you stand victorious in the blood of Christ
secure in his power and majesty,
praising and exalting his name.
May you rise and shine in a world of darkness,
declaring God’s glory, rejoicing in his daily created mercy,
patiently awaiting his return.
May you know Christ as redeemer, counselor and friend,
receiving hope in hopelessness,
surrendering weakness for strength,
hungry for healing and grace.
And here, in this place,
may you encounter a living God,
raising your voice in song,
leaving your burdens and cares at the cross,
confident in the love and mercy
of a holy God.
we had our weekly isoccer game last night. here are some pics:
Additional pictures available here.
I think Brian’s question this morning in class struck a slight nerve with me: Do we ever think God is too merciful?
All too often with myself, I think the answer is yes. For some reason, it seems to me like we feel that God should extend his mercy to everyone equally – generally to the same amount he extends us. In other words if I need X amount of mercy, then God should only extend X amount of mercy, or maybe slightly more than X so that I’m not the *worst* person let in, but certainly not 2X or 3X or X^2, for those of you who are math nerds. It’s as though we feel like somehow people who are significantly worse than we are don’t deserve mercy, or at least they don’t deserve more mercy than we received.
And I’m wondering why that is. Are we somehow subconsciously saying that if we’d only known that we could do a little more and “get away with it” that we would have done so? Do we not understand Paul imploring us to not continue in sin that God’s grace would abound, but rather to realize our new identities in Christ?
Somehow I think we feel that if we don’t get the “best deal” on mercy possible, that we’ve somehow been beaten by somebody somewhere, or that nobody deserves to get anything more than we received. After all, that wouldn’t be “fair”.
We must be continually reminded that we all hope to receive far more than we deserve. We must remember that our human scale of economics does not apply in a heavenly kingdom, where reward is never returned in equal portion to merit, and where each of us stands completely due to the merit of another.
Why is it so hard to understand justice?
Certainly we understand eternal justice – the idea everyone will eventually get what they deserve, though we conveniently ignore the fact we hope we *won’t* get what we deserve.
Why is it so hard to believe – or at least act like we believe – that people of every race, color, cocial group, economic status, intelligence, moral disposition, sexual orientation – in short all people – are treated by God with equal esteem, and that we are to love our neighbor as oursevles?
Ultimately our Christianity is not about the lip service we pay to the good things we *should* do, or to the bad things we *don’t* do, but about how we treat those who are in desperate need of heavenly mercy and justice. It is not about how we show justice to those who easily obtain it, but in how we treat the voiceless and oppressed and ignored, those who need justice.
Somewhere our theoretical Christianity must meet our practical Christianity. Somehwere we must go beyond saying we should be open and inviting to reflecting that – in how we dress, in how we talk, in how we give. We cannot be an abstract concept, but a tangible reality, the hands and feet and mouth of God, true justice in an unjust world.