The Hope-full Politics of the Table

 The following is a reflection that I will share tomorrow night as part of the Election Day Communion service here at Englewood Christian Church.Why celebrate communion on election day?To do so is not merely a religious act, we have intentionally chosen to break bread together -- not to have a worship or prayer service (good as those things are).  Tonight on the eve of this election day, we are celebrating our unity in seeking the Kingdom of God together.  But for many people, I imagine, the Kingdom of God is an abstract and nebulous thing.  Perhaps we should think of the Ki … [Read more...]

Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities

An article that I wrote for the Huffington Post went live today...This article is a followup to my blog series here last week on lamenting the Aurora shooting...Also, if these reflections on lament have resonated with you, you should check out my friend Tripp Hudgins' recent thoughts in the same direction...  Recovering a Politics of Lament in Our Faith Communities C. Christopher Smith, Senior Editor, The Englewood Review of Books One of the most disturbing things about the American public's reaction to the recent theater shooting in Aurora was the speed at which the … [Read more...]

Lament, Confession and The Politics of Jesus.

This is the third Slow Church post in a short series about Lament and the Aurora Theater Shooting... You can read the previous posts here:  [ Part I ]  [ Part II ]"To learn to lament is to become people who stay near to the wounds of the world, singing over them and washing them, allowing the unsettling cry of pain to be heard."   -- Chris Rice / Emmanuel Katongole RECONCILING ALL THINGSContinuing our reflection on what it means to lament, I want to focus now on locating lament. Generally speaking, where and how does it happen?  I want to start with an insightful comment that my fri … [Read more...]

Conversation, Identity and Christian Unity.

I have been keenly following Timothy Dalrymple's posts this week about partisan scorn and his critical response to Rachel Held Evans' well-traveled post “How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation”...  Although I'm a bit skeptical of Dalrymple's choice of Evans as an example of  "selling scorn," I'm not really going to comment on their back and forth, as I don't have a stake in either side of that conversation.What was of interest to me, in light of my concern for our churches as hubs of conversation were these excellent three points that Dalrymple offered at the end of his most recent … [Read more...]

[Daily Advent Reflection] The Politics of Elijah

The Politics of Elijah. Daily Advent Reflection. Chris Smith. I Kings 18:1-18. Monday, December 12, 2011 The child is born in the fullness of time Three wise astrologers take note of the signs Come to pay their respects to the fragile little king Get pretty close to wrecking everything 'Cause the governing body of the holy land Is that of Herod, a paranoid man Who when he hears there's a baby born King of the Jews Sends death squads to kill all male children under two But that same bright angel warns the parents in a dream And they head out for the border and get away … [Read more...]

CCDA Recap. (Or, May our means fit our ends).

I spent the bulk of last week at the Christian Community Development Association’s annual conference, which was held here in Indianapolis this year.  The CCDA conference is always a great opportunity to see old friends from around the country who are engaged in good, reconciling work in their places, and I was excited to be a part of the host team for this year’s gathering. For the vast majority of the week, I was hunkered down in the CCDA bookstore, which The Englewood Review of Books ran again this year, but thanks to my brothers and sisters of Englewood Christian Church who helped in runn … [Read more...]