Thursday, June 28, 2018

Perspectives: Who we are

Do we sometimes try to be something or someone we are not? 


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

As if we do not have a home

From Nouwen's book, The Return of the Prodigal Son:
Leaving home is, then, much more than an historical event bound to time and place.  it is a denial of the spiritual reality that I belong to God with every part of my being, that God holds me safe in an eternal embrace, that a I am indeed carved in the palms of God's hands and hidden in their shadows.  leaving home means ignoring the truth that God has "fashioned me in secret, molded me in the depths of the earth and knitted me together in  my mother's womb."  Leaving home is living as though I do not yet have a home and must look far and wide to find one.
Consider the younger son in the parable. Consider what it meant that left home. There are times when we are the younger son. When we leave home. Reading this quote, we can grasp the idea that turning away from God is in a way doing what the younger son did. We leave home. We leave God. We act as if we do not have a home in God, and we strike out, searching for our home. For where we belong.

Repentance, then, is the returning. It is the remember that we belong to God, have a home in God. The Father accepts our return - and in fact never let us leave him in the first place.

As I read from Nouwen's book this morning, though, I was saddened by the realization that we leave God "as if we do not have a home and must look far and wide to find one." 

It is no wonder that we feel lost.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Alter Call

At Annual Conference this year, one of the preachers brought to our attention that the word for the holy place at the front of the sanctuary - the altar - is pronounced the same as the word meaning change - alter.

I knew that, and yet the comparison had never hit me before.  We come to the altar, and we are changed - altered.  We often talk about altar calls, but when it comes to change, do we ever speak of an alter call?  Do we ever call for change?

Or are we less afraid of speaking words of faith than we are allowing God to change us?


Monday, June 25, 2018

How we see people or not

From Henri Nouwen's book, The Return of the Prodigal Son:  "When no one wanted to give him the food he was giving to the pigs the younger son realized that he wasn't even considered a fellow human being."

As I read this morning, I was thinking about the policy of separating immigrant children from their families. I don't know how it can be justified.  It can't be, unless we stop seeing the people crossing our boarder as human beings.  

Do we do that? And do we do it on the street, as homeless people pass by? Do we do it in church, when someone disagrees with us? Do we turn human beings into obstacles? Into objects?

Is this what Christ calls us to do? 

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