God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense …
Does this popular acronym for grace do it full justice?
Why not something a little more far-reaching?
God’s Richness At Creation’s Entrance …
Waving a small US flag, the little boy skipped along behind his mom and older sister as they headed across the park for the start of the big parade. The boy saw an old woman sitting alone on a park bench, throwing seed to pigeons on the sidewalk in front of her. As he came closer to her, he noticed that she wore mostly gray clothing—no red, white, and blue like all the people making their way through the park.
The boy stopped in front of the bench, scattering the birds. “Happy Fourth of July, ma’am!” he said.
The old lady smiled at him. “And happy Thursday to you, young man!”Continue reading
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
Jesus of nazareth
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
from luke 4:16-19
Bruno, the week’s hall monitor for Sunday school, stroked the right side of his bushy mustache as he stood just outside the little kitchen in the church basement. He still had no idea where he’d picked up the habit of stroking the one side of his mustache when something intrigued him, but there it was. No changing now. Not at almost sixty years old.
He shifted and leaned hard on his cane, again thankful for the new hallway carpet that provided at least some cushion for when he found himself standing long enough that his hips and knees began to moan at him. Oh, they were already starting to whine now, but he ignored them. Pretty much ignored the hall as well, except for a quick glance left and right to see if any wayward kids had decided to start roaming the building instead of staying in their assigned classrooms.Continue reading
“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”
from “Peace—A Religious Responsibility”
in Thomas Merton: Selected Essays
Two friends, Jordan and Taylor, sat huddled behind a tall stack of fold-up tables in the church fellowship. They’d been told by their Sunday school teacher that all the elementary-age children needed to go outside after church service while the youth and adults gathered in the fellowship hall for a special time together with a guest of honor, who would then visit the younger kids outside after finishing inside.
“Hell with that,” Taylor had whispered to Jordan. “Let’s check out the adult gathering.”
Nodding, Jordan gave Taylor a little smile.Continue reading
Our connectedness to each other ultimately has nothing to do with states [nations]…. Our relationship to the other is that we are brothers and sisters; we’re humans. I’m a human, you’re a human. You’re in the image of God, I’m in the image of God. I was struck recently reading writings from Native Americans at the time that they were gradually being murdered and rounded up and moved off their land and so on. And they always called the settlers “our white brothers,” even when they were talking about the murderous things that had been unleashed on them, even when they were talking about their village being slaughtered. They would call them “our white brothers….” It was staggering.David Blower
“We Really Existed and We Really Did This”
The time when young people are most likely to abandon their Christian upbringing is in their teens. And the reason most often given is unanswered doubts and questions. It’s time for parents, pastors, teachers, and youth leaders to step to the plate and provide answers to those questions.Author Nancy Pearceyfrom her endorsement ofSo the Next Generation Will Knowby Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace
Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.” … Doubt can certainly leave us empty and frightened, but that is precisely the benefit of doubt: it exposes the folly that strong faith means you need to “know what you believe,” that the more faith you “have,” the more certain you are. … But doubt is not the enemy of faith, a solely destructive force that rips us away from God, a dark cloud that blocks the bright warm sun of faith. Doubt is only the enemy of faith when we equate faith with certainty in our thinking.Author Peter Ennsfrom his bookThe Sin of Certainty