Paying Tribute to Mothers

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a mom. Child bearing alone is hard to fathom. Moms have to endure kicks in the womb and the pain of pushing the fetus into the world. While the physical umbilical cord is surgically cut at birth, moms often have to experience their children severing the emotional umbilical cord with the equivalent of a figurative dull, rusty knife later on in life. Child rearing is often thankless work, even though it is often very relationally rewarding. This reflection on m … [Read more...]

Lessons from Baltimore and the Bible: Work with the People, Not for the People

"Please respect our leadership.  Please respect the work we've been doing and will continue to do.  Please come and work with us and not for us." These are the closing words to a post from leaders of local initiatives in Baltimore (here is the full post). They are responding to the wave of outsiders coming into their community in response to Freddie Gray’s tragic death and charges of police brutality. The local residents represented in this post have been engaged in the struggle for justice for … [Read more...]

Baltimore and Beyond: Cities that Wait for the Storm Cloud to Blow Over May Blow Up

The Onion recently wrote an article titled "Baltimore Residents Urged To Stay Indoors Until Social Progress Naturally Takes Its Course Over Next Century."Whether we approach the recent events satirically or not, our nation's cities cannot wait for the ominous storm cloud filled with racial strife in places like Baltimore, New York, Ferguson and beyond to blow over. Cities that wait and are not alert to take proactive action to bring their divided communities together may blow up. As one ci … [Read more...]

Live Life to the Full—Work and Rest to Build Community

Jesus claimed that the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Certain religious leaders were all worked up because Jesus' disciples were collecting food to eat on the Sabbath (See Mark 2:23-28). Jesus explained to them that the whole point of Sabbath rest is to rejuvenate people, not enslave them. In this situation, his disciples needed to pluck heads of grain and eat to satisfy their hunger if they were to experience renewal.Like the Sabbath, which signifies r … [Read more...]

Police the Fear of Color for the Sake of Building Beloved Community

All too often, difference causes us to retreat from one another and react in ways that further divide us. An African American man runs from a white police officer in a blue uniform because he fears what might happen to him when in custody. A white police officer pulls his gun to shoot and kill an unarmed man of color because he fears for his life, as a recent TIME magazine article notes (“Will America Now Challenge the Standard Police Narrative?”). Whether or not we think the fears a … [Read more...]

Jesus Loves a Good Food Fight

In the last post, I alluded to Frodo and his companions leading a rebellion against Sarumon and his henchmen upon their return from the great battle with Sauron. How might we rebel against the forces of greed and power in our day, which destroy nature, the land’s bounty, and community? Among other things, we have to engage in a food fight—a fight over food. After all, one of the reasons why the hobbits were so successful in getting past Sauron’s defenses was their ability to travel beneath the ra … [Read more...]

If We Were Hobbits, What Kind of Hobbits Might We Be?

In my last post, I wrote of how Jesus might have been a halfling given how central a place food had in his life and work (See Was Jesus a Hobbit?). As one would expect, Jesus would have been a good hobbit. But not every hobbit is virtuous. If you and I were hobbits, what kind of hobbits might we be? Would we be good hobbits, like Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, or less than noble halflings like Lotho Sackville-Baggins? Many of us are familiar with Bilbo and Frodo, but not Lotho. Lotho was … [Read more...]


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