Contributing to Dream-Come-True

Three years ago I wrote what appears below, with just minor adjustments given our present circumstances.  Instead of an inauguration three years ago, our nation will witness an impeachment trial in coming days.  Although there seems to be little mystery about the outcome of that trial, will faithful followers of Jesus choose to be agents of the reconciliation offered to all persons and communities through Jesus our Lord and Messiah?  Whatever our convictions about the partisan divides over policy and strategy for governing “one nation under God with life, liberty and the pursuit of … ,” we can celebrate the dignity and cherished value of all persons, and especially of those who are different from us.  We can and we …

The “Stronger Man” and His Kingdom

We often read episodes in the gospel as instances of how Jesus helps us.  Often that is what they are.  But always there is more going on as well.  Jesus achieves a victory over the evil one and evil itself, such that the whole world can change.  And does change, under the governance of God through the everyday lives of its citizens.  So, here … The evil one had so gripped his life that the man was on total sensory shutdown—his eyes dark, his ears muted and his tongue frozen.  Then friends brought him to Jesus who drove the demon out of the man, and sent him home totally restored, seeing, hearing and speaking.  As Mathew tells the story, what …

“The Rest of our Lives”

We are three weeks into “the rest of our lives.”  The world calls it “retired.”  I’m calling it “repurposed” and “redeployed.”  I am not in denial, at least not severely.  Things have changed.  Quite suddenly, the volume of email has diminished, blank spaces on the calendar have multiplied, and the sense of demand and urgency has relaxed.   Where I spend my time, and how much of it I spend there, is different than before.  When we rise from sleep (and where we sleep for that matter) now depends on things different than before.   We have just as many friends as before but can no longer be “of use” to them as before.   😊 Things have changed, to be sure.  But …

Our Story, and Song!

As we approach an historic gathering of our church from across the nation, I’ve been reminded of Fannie Crosby’s classic gospel song, “Blessed Assurance,” especially its chorus, which I would adjust slightly, as follows: This is our story, this is our song, praising our savior all the day long! I suggest that this chorus is so apt, as we recall and live into who we are, what our story is and the song we’ve always sung at our best. Ours is the story of a great God who is supremely good, creating in love a world very-good, and placing it in the care of beloved image-bearers.  And though the story got hijacked and diverted, our great God did not give …

What if Jesus Cleaned the Temple Again?

This Monday of Holy Week 2019, we read of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem on the Monday of that week (see Matt. 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48).  As we continue to follow Jesus on his way to garden, cross, and tomb,  I have wondered: What would happen if Jesus, son of God, did it again with respect to the Temple? What if he overturned the platforms on which purveyors of religious amusement or liturgical diversion plied their trades?  What if he put a strict quarantine on what should be, what in fact has been dedicated as, holy precincts, at least for a time no longer allowing anyone to pass through as they’d become accustomed?  What if Jesus did …