Post Apocalypse! It’s come to my attention that, due to a flukey tech problem at Patheos, many of my subscribers did not receive my last few posts. Obviously, this is a catastrophe of massive proportions.
Other subscribers haven’t read them due to extenuating circumstances (like holiday inertia, TV binge-watching, or excessive post-egg nog napping).
Or maybe you’re just not on the Grace-Colored Glasses train yet (subscribe to my newsletter now)!
For all of these reasons and so many more (that I can’t think of right now), here’s a recap of those posts. Please take some time and give them a good read. And happy New Year! God bless us, one and all.
Dec. 15th post: The significance of Baby Jesus as a person of color
White Christians: we need to embrace the truth about Jesus: he was one of them – a person of color.
During 2020, we have witnessed incredible injustice toward people of color: senseless deaths of men and women at the hands of police, admiration of a white young man with a rifle, disproportionate effects of the pandemic on communities of color.
We’ve engaged in victim-blaming when these groups have demanded their rights – for example, we criticized protesters for damaging property, but not the systemic racism that brought about the protests.
Many leaders, including Christian leaders, have pointed out the fact that such injustice (in one form or another) has been with us since the founding of America – even calling it our “original sin.”
(Many other Christian leaders have downplayed racism.)
Now that our racism has been on display for the whole world to see, it’s essential to keep the issue on the front burner, lest we become complacent with the slight improvement we might see under a new president.
This Christmas, we have fewer obligations and perhaps more time to reflect. As we look back on the trauma of 2020, let’s take a moment to contemplate Jesus in a different light. Let’s see if we can become better. (Read the full post here.)
Dec. 18th post: What if I don’t actually “need” my stimulus check?
Jesus had much to say about finances, and his words offer a profound challenge for Christians who will be receiving a stimulus check.
For the unemployed and underemployed, that first stimulus check must feel like a lifetime ago, and the next payment can’t come soon enough. We can expect $600-700 per person, though it could be months before everyone receives their remittance (apparently, some folks have not even received their first check yet).
The government can’t figure out a way to split the stimulus pot only among those who really need it (and give them more of the money they desperately need), so it’s up to everyday Americans (perhaps especially Christians?) to take some initiative.
Are you one of the lucky ones, like me? My livelihood has not been impacted by Covid – for which I thank God every day – so I’m not behind on any bills. There is food on my table every night. I don’t need a stimulus check.
That said, I can think of plenty of ways to spend $600-700 on myself!
But is that what Jesus calls us to do?…(Read the full post here)
Dec. 22nd: This Christmas in Bethlehem, Palestine
Question: O little town of Bethlehem, how are you doing this Christmas?
Answer: You’d better sit down for this.
I have the privilege of being the wife of a Palestinian. I’ve been to Palestine and Israel a number of times, and have friends and relatives living there. Here’s an actual, factual report on the situation in the town where our Savior was born.
It might not be quite what you’d picture. No deep and dreamless sleep, no stillness at all.
This is my friend, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of 16 books (which I recommend), making him the most widely published Palestinian theologian to date.
(If you’re surprised to hear that there are Christians in Palestine – not just Muslims – stick around for many more surprises!)
When I met Mitri, he was the pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. He now travels around the world, spreading the message of justice and peace. I have worked with an organization called Bright Stars of Bethlehem that supports Mitri’s efforts….(Read the full post here)
333,000 Americans have died of Covid – but I know some Christians who are loudly disputing that number. Some are implying that the death toll numbers have been deliberately inflated. Some have been accusing medical professionals of complicity in skewing the statistics.
Over 19,000,000 Americans have contracted Covid, and many millions of Americans don’t have enough to eat because the pandemic is dragging on and on – but I see Christians refusing to obey mask mandates, singing Christmas carols in public just so they can flout the regulations (looking at you, Kirk Cameron), demanding to go to church.
These Christians insist that they should be free to mask or not mask, free to worship and travel as they please. Many of them insist that wearing a mask and keeping a distance of six feet amount to (no pun intended) overkill.
None of the Christians advancing these theories have any actual proof. They’ve heard theories broadcast on their favorite channels – and the theorists too lack actual proof. (And Covid cases continue to climb.)…(Read the full post here)
“Cultural intelligence” – the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures – is something that every white, privileged person needs to work on to help make this world a better place.
If you know how to read, or how to listen to people talking, you can be part of the solution to the urgent problems of inequality, injustice, and racism.
Make a New Year’s Resolution to understand the people around you better by improving your cultural intelligence, one page at a time.
I started doing this early in my journey of self-awareness by gifting myself with a subscription to Audible.com (an endorsement for which I don’t get paid). I now have a library of nearly 200 books, most of them chosen to help me improve my cultural intelligence. Many of them I’ve listened to 3 times or more. They’ve informed me profoundly and changed who I am on a deep level. (I talk a lot about this in Grace-Colored Glasses. Get my newsletter?)
I say this in all humility, because I wish I’d learned these things decades ago. As a white Christian, I lacked compassion for people of other cultures for most of my life. That is not cool and not Christlike…(Read the full post here.)