Risen From The Book!

Does Easter make a difference?  Did the flurry and frenzy of Holy Week activity become an expression of the power that raises the dead?  Or was it more like a Memorial Day weekend?  Was it only that we recalled the One who made the supreme sacrifice for which we will always be thankful, but which remains essentially in the past—either the distant past of the actual event or a more recent past when perhaps we witnessed something like resurrection power?  Or did we celebrate something, or Someone, who demonstratively makes a difference today, this week, in our and the world’s story from now on? I have thought in recent years that just as Jesus rose from the grave in the …

Birthday Celebration and Commitment

Today, we join a million plus Free Methodist friends around the world in celebrating 157 years of life and ministry together as a freedom movement in companionship with Jesus our Messiah. We celebrate the freedoms achieved for human beings through the loving self-giving of Jesus to death and then through death to Life–freedom in the Spirit of Jesus to be truly all God intends for the human person in relationship with others; freedom from the sins and arrogance of racial pride and prejudice; freedom from conflicting loyalties that dilute our allegiance to Jesus’ kingdom first; freedom from the confusions and corruptions of self-centered living; freedom from the false and idolatrous ideologies that prevail in the world; freedom from the disempowerment …

The First Day of the Week

On the first day of the week we became Easter People.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made in the beginning, has initiated the new creation.  Just as in the first beginning, Jesus completed the work—living among us, proclaiming Kingdom-come, casting out demons, healing the sick, mending the broken, confronting the powers and the evil that pulls their strings, taking their best shot, and dying—crying, “It is finished!”  His cry turned out to be the most delightful and wonderful double entendre.  The powers, of course, understood the one meaning—yes, indeed, would-be Messiah and King dead as dead can be, problem solved!  But they had no idea.  Later the Apostle Paul would observe, if they had had any …

THE DREAM LIVES ON

On this day marking the life, leadership and martyrdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we should pause to give thanks that indeed black lives matter!  I am grateful that the life of Dr. King, a man of color, mattered so profoundly, though cut so tragically short.  It would do us all good to read again his now famous speech about the dream that he had.  (If you are reading this you can find it!) The basic cause for which he stood and was killed is indisputably consistent with the tenets of Jesus’ teaching and way of life.  That all persons belong by rights—creation rights—to the One God who Self-reveals in the person of Jesus; and that God claims them all in love, …

POLITICAL QUESTIONS—IS THERE HOPE?

Liar vs. Lecher. That could well be what the marquee reads out front of today’s political arena.  The followers of each engage in fierce fighting for their contender—“fanatical” seems apt to me as a normative, rather than extreme, descriptor.  In one corner, just as some alleged lies fade into the past a new spate of emails comes to light.  Sadly, it might be that deals were discussed, quid pro quo in nature, that stretches her credibility beyond the breaking point for many.   In the other corner, just as the lechery stands fully exposed more professed victims come forward.  Sadly, in the most recent cases the alleged lecher responds in ways that themselves seem dismissive, abusive and cluelessly aggravating.  More sadly, …