Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The King who dies...

The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus -- especially the Ascension, since it is the final affirmation of the hands-off policy implicit in the other two -- proclaim that no meddling, divine or human, spiritual or material, can save the world.  Its only salvation is in the mystery of the King who dies, rises, and disappears, and who asks us simply to trust his promise that, in him, we have the kingdom already.

Robert Farrar Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grounded in the church

Another gift God gives is the church and Christian community.  Of course the church is always full of problems and weakness.  Yet it is critical for leaders to obediently connect themselves in faith to her vitality and gifts.  By being grounded in the church's life and worship and in the unique story and vision she alone holds, we are shaped within a journey, task and community that is bigger than "me."

Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice
Reconciling All Things

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Petty barriers

It is sad to consider how much first-rate courage must be devoted in this world to struggling out of the toils of sheer pettiness.  The Saudi women who first drove automobiles risked and suffered penalties, overcame inhibitions, and shattered norms, heroic in their defiance of an absurd convention.  We have our own Rosa Parks.  That such great courage should have been required to challenge such petty barriers is a demonstration of the power of social consensus.  How many minor coercions are required to sustain similar customs and usages?  How aware are any of us, absent direct challenge, of how we also deal in trivial coercion?

Marilynne Robinson
"The Tyranny of Petty Coercion" in The Death of Adam

Easter is Always coming...

Something slightly different today - I was alerted to this video by Bosco Peters, one of the most energetic users of social media in New Zealand.  As he says, it's a bit late, because it relates to 'Easter coming', but it's powerfully-wrought piece, and very cleverly put together.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Having warm feelings in our heart, good intentions in our head, and proper attitudes in our mind doesn't clothe and feed the poor.  We can have nice attitudes and still enjoy luxury.  Behaviour is the test.  Jesus calls us to an upside-down kind of compassion that results in economic action.

Donald Kraybill
The Upside-Down Kingdom

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Denying and affirming

Do I deny the resurrection?  Okay, this is time to fess up.  Yes.  I do.  Of course I do.  Everyone who knows me knows I deny the resurrection.  And I do deny the resurrection every time I do not serve my neighbour, every time I walk away from people who are poor.  I deny the resurrection every time I participate in an unjust system.  And I affirm the resurrection every now and again when I stand up for those who are on their knees.  I affirm the resurrection when I cry out for those people who have had their tongues torn out, when I weep for those people who have no more tears to shed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An absurd picture...

The image of community so at one in heart and mind that not even physical possessions would be spared in face of need, shows the contemporary world an absurd picture of a people whom many would accuse of naivete, communism, or plain stupidity and poor judgment.  But that is how resurrection words and lives, in radically caring community, will always look to a world that lives in fear, isolation, and individualism.

Andre Resner Jr.
Daily Feast, Year B

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A greater salvation

When Jesus is presented only as the answer that saves individuals from their sin and death, we run the risk of shrinking the Gospel down to something just for humans, when God has inaugurated a movement in Jesus's resurrection to renew, restore, and reconcile everything "on earth or in heaven" (Col. 1), just as God originally intended it.  The powers of death and destruction have been defeated on the most epic scale imaginable.  Individuals are then invited to see their story in the context of a far larger story, one that includes all of creation.

Rob Bell
Love Wins

Friday, April 06, 2012

God's new creation

With Easter, God's new creation is launched upon a surprised world, pointing ahead to the renewal, the redemption, the rebirth of the entire creation.... every act of love, every deed done in Christ and by the Spirit, every work of true creativity -- doing justice, making peace, healing families, resisting temptation, seeking and winning true freedom -- is an earthly event in a long history of things that implement Jesus's own resurrection and anticipate the final new creation and act as signposts of hope.

N.T. Wright
Surprised by Hope

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


We are fated to kill and be killed because we know no other way to live, but through the forgiveness made possible by the cross of Jesus we are no longer condemned to kill. A people have been created who refuse to resort to the sword, that they and those they love might survive. They seek not to survive, but to live in the light of Christ’s resurrection. The sacrifices of war are no longer necessary. We can now live free of the necessity of violence and killing. War and the sacrifices of war have come to an end. War has been abolished.

Hauerwas' book, Hannah's Child, uses a good number of pages on the subject of his pacifism, and how it has affected his life and thinking.