Pentecost and Free Speech

 One of the striking features of Acts chapter 2 is that the Spirit’s descent at Pentecost led the people gathered from around the world to speak in different languages: When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Ho … [Read more...]

The Ascension: Jesus Has Some Serious Hang Time.

I used to watch with amazement Michael Jordan’s hang time. It was almost as if he defied gravity, as he made his way to the basketball rim for one of his jaw dropping dunks or reverse layups as a basketball god.Jesus has some serious hang time. Jesus defies gravity in his ascension—sorry Air Jordan and Sir Isaac Newton. And yet, when the right time comes, he will return to earth, just like he ascended to heaven. According to Jesus, what goes up must come down. Like and unlike the Terminator a … [Read more...]

Should Christians Fear “America’s Changing Religious Landscape”? It All Depends on How We Interpret and Respond to the Data.

The Pew Research Center recently released “America’s Changing Religious Landscape: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow.” I have witnessed various responses and reactions to it. A few of the responses I have appreciated are “'Cause We Are Living in a Pluralist World...” and “What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Christian Decline In America: A Brief Reflection on the Pew Report.”Should Christians fear America’s changing relig … [Read more...]

Don’t Be Blind to the White Ceiling

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you work, it is never enough? Women and people of diverse ethnicities often feel this way. For example, no matter how far African Americans come, many feel that they will never meet with the approval of the dominant society's expectations. There is a white ceiling, which many people in our society cannot see. The agonizing sense of never being able to ascend and arrive at one's envisioned destination can even be true for an African American who becomes t … [Read more...]

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...]