“I know something worse than hate…”

Javier_Sicilia_03

Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" today.  This is the fifth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: Engaged with our Neighbors’ Struggles Against Injustice.In our last post in this series, I emphasized that working toward justice begins in our local neighborhoods.  There is a great danger in trying to address injustices in the abstract. Our efforts to address injustice in the abstract often (unintentionally) results in great damage in real situations.This truth is one that Mexican poet Javier Sicilia knows all too well.   In 2011, … [Read more...]

Jesus Manifesto (and other alternate versions of the SOTM)

Oster-JM

When John proposed the idea of reading the Sermon on the Mount every day through Lent, one of the first things that came to my mind was the paraphrase of the SOTM that my friend Ken Oster wrote a number of years ago entitled "Jesus Manifesto," (not to be confused with the later book of the same name by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola).After a fair bit of digging, I finally found my one page version of Ken's Jesus Manifesto, which I am honored to share with you here (and since it has been placed in the public domain, you are welcome to share it as you see fit): Jesus Manifesto by Ken Oster … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading: Sermon on the Mount #2

This morning I read just past the end of the Sermon on the Mount, where it says that the crowds were amazed at Jesus's teaching because, unlike the scribes, Jesus taught as one who had authority. I almost took that as an invitation to go back and re-read the sermon...this time with feeling!One thing I struggle against is that the Sermon on the Mount is so familiar, and it's full of so many well-worn phrases -- light of the world, turn the other cheek, go the second mile, lilies and sparrows, pearls before swine, do unto others, the house built on the rock -- that they have become … [Read more...]

Lenten Reading: Sermon on the Mount #1

As Chris mentioned in a post yesterday, a group of us are reading the Sermon on the Mount every day for Lent. (We set up a Facebook page, if you'd like to join the conversation.) Throughout the Lenten season, Chris and I will be posting occasional thoughts here about our experience with this extraordinary passage.My wife and I read Matthew 5-7 out loud to each other yesterday morning (Ash Wednesday), and I ended up thinking about it all day. In particular, I remembered some of my early experiences with the Sermon on the Mount. When I was a teenager, I was taught--for the life of me, I c … [Read more...]

Lent 2013 – Two Slow Church-related Articles

AshWednesday

Fasting toward the Common Good Chris recently wrote an article for The Good Men Project, which begins:Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians around the globe. Based on the example of Jesus, who fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is the season leading up to Easter that has traditionally been understood as a time of fasting. Today, many Christians have reduced the practice of fasting during Lent to giving up some luxury — chocolate, alcohol, coffee, or television — for the duration of the season. Although such sacrifices are fasts of sorts, it is par … [Read more...]

Lent: 40 Days of the Sermon on the Mount

Dore_Bible_Sermon_on_the_Mount

John had the great idea recently to read the Sermon on the Mount every day for Lent...Here's his thoughts: Gandhi read the Sermon on the Mount every day for decades. He said that when he first read it, it went straight to his heart. He believed it encapsulated the message of Jesus and he was inspired by its message of nonviolence. It endeared Jesus to him, and he once said, "Christ’s Sermon on the Mount fills me with bliss even today. Its sweet verses have even today the power to quench my agony of soul." For Lent this year, some friends and I are taking some inspiration from Gandhi a … [Read more...]

The Gospel of the Coffee Bean

Roasted_coffee_beans

[ I'm taking a break today from the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" series, which should return in the next couple of days]There's a chapter in the forthcoming book that John and I are calling "Taste and See that the Lord is Good."  Here's a snapshot of the basic theme of the chapter: God created us to flourish and to know the joy of life.  Just as something is lost in the taste and experience of a fast food meal, so too a key part of what is lost in the industrialization of Christianity is the joy of being together, of knowing and being known in community.  Industrialized Ch … [Read more...]


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