Coming of God – part 2

Last month, we looked at what Jesus had to say about the timing of his own parousia, or “coming.”So where else does the ‘coming of God’ show up in Holy Writ? Was a ‘coming of God’ like the world-devourer Galactus‘ herald Silver Surfer, gliding in from the sky all bright and shiny? Or was it a demonstration of God’s power in spiritual, physical and the visible realms? Let’s delve into the internal language of Scripture to discover what this concept means to its original speakers.In the Heb … [Read more...]

The Hiddenness of God, How Resurrection Can Be Disappointing, and the Future of the Church

Kelley Hudlow is an attorney and Episcopal Deacon who lives in Alabama. She recently invited me onto her podcast  for a conversation about Resurrection and the story of the two disciples walking with Christ on the road to Emmaus. As we spoke, I was greatly encouraged by the idea that God's resurrection life may be all around us in our sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, ordinary lives. The conversation explored different topics: the hiddenness of God, how resurrection can be disappointing, a … [Read more...]

Why Busy Christians Need to Learn from Thomas Merton

Merton books

The Catholic mystic Thomas Merton’s witness and wisdom can help those of us seeking to integrate contemplation and action today. Who would have thought that a cloistered monk, writing from behind the gated boundaries of the austere Cistercian order, would become a counter-culture hero, the “conscience of the peace movement,” as Daniel Berrigan called him, and a spiritual teacher to millions?Merton first published a spiritual autobiography narrating his conversion to Catholicism and the monas … [Read more...]

What is a “Coming of God?” Part 1

There is much confusion in Christianity today surrounding the milieu of biblical eschatology. Specifically, there is widespread misunderstanding about the nature and timing of Jesus’ coming, arrival or presence (parousia in Greek). In popular preaching and imagination, it’s often called his “second coming” or “return.” Many life-long Jesus-followers are surprised to learn that these are not terms found in the Bible – and then to consider how these terms effect our thinking on just what this all m … [Read more...]

A Life of Love and Academic Freedom

KKLO

 tenure: the right to keep a job (especially the job of being a professor at a college or university) for as long as you want to have it  --Merriam-Webster Tenure is the beautiful thing that allows professors to have a guaranteed position at a college or university for as long as they want it. It is a highly coveted achievement and one that is celebrated when it is received.Part of the beauty behind this is that it gives teachers the ability to do their work with a sense of … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

The Truth a - 2011-02-24

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]

Resisting the Silence of Holy Saturday & Embracing its Darkness on Friday

Holy Week of Resistance

I have resisted this post all week, and now I find myself on Good Friday, the day that Christians remember the death of Jesus who died perversely on a cross.  It brings to mind the many black and brown bodies who die at the hands of police violence, another perverse cross that exists in our nation (and world).  In many ways, I resist this moment for I know it takes us all into the silence of Saturday, the unknown of resurrection, and darkness shrouds this day in a darkness that I must e … [Read more...]

Lenten Peace in Israel

dream

Today There are three big things in my cultural-religious mind going on today. Today is St Patrick's Day. It is also Lent. And it's Israeli Election Day.  First, St. Patricks's Day. With a maiden name like Riley O'Brien, each year on this day I try to feel a sense of connection to my Irish roots. And I never do. I've never been to Ireland and I don't even drink. Instead, observance of St Patricks Day for me is usually something closer to shuffling into my closet and thinking, "Shoot! Why don't … [Read more...]

The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection

Painting of Cross over Church

In the Passion narratives I’ve never been that interested in what comes after the crucifixion.  I know that some say the whole ball of wax hinges on the stories of Jesus as the resurrected Christ.They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances.  You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.And that’s my point.When I look at it, all I see is a beautifully complicated presentation of how to accomplish … [Read more...]

“Flipped” About Lent & Resurrection

flipped

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of lengthening, stretching ourselves, as we journey toward celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.Lately I've been thinking about an idea that has stretched me further, lengthened me. And, luckily, it has a roundabout connection to the Resurrection. So I'll share it with you.Last night my friend, and pastor, Doug Pagitt, hosted a book release party for his fantastic new book, Flipped:The provocative truth that changes … [Read more...]


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