ArchivesTag : community
Most nights I wake in the dark hours, around three o’clock, the time of deepest silence, the time when people often die. I can’t sleep again, so I pray. Lately I’ve understood that there’s a cycle in prayer, like a wheel of fire: Ask, Listen, Discern, Act; Ask, Listen, Discern, Act; Ask, Listen, Discern…. And the fire? That’s thanksgiving, and praise.Full Story
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10, 38-42, Gospel for Sunday, July 18.Full Story
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.” ….The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10, 1-12; 17-20; reading for Sunday, July 4.Full Story
We know more about Jesus than did Paul. He never quotes the sayings of Jesus, never refers to his miracles, never touches his teachings. It’s hard to imagine a pre-gospel world, in which the faith consisted of two fundamental truths: Jesus died, and Jesus is risen: only that. All Paul’s thought flows from that basic source: but does ours? To what degree are the teachings of Jesus different from Paul’s?Full Story
I’d forgotten how beautiful this city is. And I’d forgotten how seductive the Moslem cultures of the Mediterranean are: the wild taxi rides (no seat belts), the tender stillness of those old streets as light fades from the sky, and a few boys still kick a soccer ball around despite the dusk and the muezzin makes the last call to prayer as a deeper silence falls on this usually cacophonous city. There’s a tenderness, a sweetness to this culture.Full Story
A few months ago, Jonathan Odell got a call from an evangelical college in the United States inviting him to participate in a forum on homosexuality. Jon is a writer, consultant, keynote speaker, a Christian – and a gay man.
“We want you to take the pro side on homosexuality,” the caller said.
“Yippee,” Jonathan thought: ‘I get to argue for Satan.’Full Story
Was I the only one who thought of the current child abuse scandal, and the mounting chorus of questions about Pope Benedict’s own implication in it, as we walked along? This is the man who has, by general agreement, put in place exemplary structures to safeguard children now – and yet he finds himself and his beloved church sullied by a widening series of ugly revelations from the past. This is the man whose dream is the revival of the church in Europe, and with it, Catholic European culture. Where is that vision now?Full Story
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (although the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2, 1-11; Gospel for Sunday, January 17.Full Story
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1, 39-45, Reading for 20 December, the Fourth Sunday of Advent.Full Story
I was raised in Massachusetts. I went to church at a local Advent Christian Church. When I was fifteen years old I committed my life to Jesus Christ and was baptized. However, I also had sexual attraction for men. When I first told my Pastor, he told me that being gay was wrong. He told me that men were not created to be in a sexual relationship, only a man and a woman were created for that. So, I believed him for the longest time.Full Story