Some of the ideas people have about God make him into a God of retribution rather than mercy. In this message, I attempt to tackle two difficult passages that have shaped, in an unhealthy way, how we see God. The story reflects back on the tale of two cities called Sodom and Gomorrah. Is God… Continue reading Is God a God of Hospitality?
Last year this plant appeared in the foyer of our church building. It is from the Hebron in Israel. When I got it I immediately thought this would be a good plant for my office, so I kept it. At first I watered it every couple of days. It was a disaster. The plant is… Continue reading Plant From Hebron
Rethinking Gender Roles in the Church_Companion_6 For the apostle Paul, Christian’s live in the “in-between, or the “now-not yet,” the space of time after Jesus’ resurrection and before the Parousia, when Jesus returns. This “in-between” period represents the coming of the Kingdom of God in Jesus’ resurrection but also reflects the fact that the Kingdom… Continue reading Rethinking Gender Roles_Companion 6
As some of you know, I have a particular interest in families with mental health conditions. My niece was diagnosed with Youth Onset Bipolar Disorder very young, my nephew has Autism Spectrum Disorder. As an uncle I tried to care for them over the years the best I knew how. I tried to be a… Continue reading Bridges To Hope
A fixation on what immediately follows death is common, I think, to people across cultures and faiths. As a child I was very concerned about the continuing existence of some family friends who passed away. I recall having vivid dreams about them, where they gathered together in the afterlife. It gave my childhood self some… Continue reading What is Purgatory
Octavia the younger, First Century CE As I talk about this material, it is important to give Cynthia Westfall credit for her amazing book Paul and Gender. What I have learned on this subject comes from her work and resources cited in her material that I have picked up along the way. The creation account… Continue reading Rethinking Gender Roles in the Church_Companion_5
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24) Imagine traveling all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem, 80 miles.… Continue reading Reconcile with Me