Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The following is attributed to Saint Teresa of Avila and is especially applicable at Christmas.
Christ has no body now but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.
Friday, December 21, 2007
As we were packing up at the hospital last week, getting ready to take Corban home for the first time, morning prayers came over the loudspeaker (the hospital is under the auspices of the Catholic diocese of Richmond).
Today is the feast of St Nicholas. He was a bishop who became the model for Santa Claus, exemplifying the art of giving and receiving.
it doesn’t mean that you will get a new Mercedes.
Choosing love is a more profound choice because it is not just
the spiritual adult who must choose, but also the wounded child
who isn’t sure s/he is worthy of love.
You might have to realize you will have to confront the darkness
in order to find the light.
This isn’t the cotton candy kind of love.
It’s not the instant oatmeal approach to salvation.
It is the kind of love that takes a lifetime to learn to give and receive.
It’s the kind of atonement that happens in the trenches.”
Thank you for the graces we receive that enable us to give and receive.
Help us deepen our capacity and ability to give as well as receive.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Robert Webber, in The Divine Embrace, points six negative influences shaping contemporary evangelical spirituality. Here they are and what are your thoughts?
1. The dangers of legalism have been eliminated and now we are into anti-nomianism (no rules, no law, I can do what I want, I’m free). Freedom from legalism means freedom for Christ.
2. Intellectual spirituality has been exchanged for an anti-intellectual spirituality that does not approximate classic pietism. The way to know as a Christian is to reflect on Scripture in community.
3. Experiential Christianity is shifting into narcissism.
4. Worship has become far too narcissistic — “did I like the worship or preaching?” is the question. No, he says, this is not the question. The question is about theological fidelity and learning to live out the story.
5. We have now an emphasis on a romantic relationship with God instead of a focus on God and our union with him by his grace.
6. We have a consumeristic emphasis, a McSpirituality.
He points out that good writers today are Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Eugene Peterson.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
Had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb,yet He lives today.
Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us .
Saturday, December 01, 2007
They are one of two churches I know of who's stated vision is more for the community than for the church. Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City is the other (I'm sure there are more, I just don't know of them). They are, in a word, missional. It's not that other churches aren't (like ours for instance), it's just that the vision statements tend to be self-referential.
Bob's latest comment on 'New Metrics for the Church' rang my bell, so I commented on his comment (this whole blogging thing is also a little self-referential if I'm not careful).
Typically a church's metrics are butts in seats, budgets raised and buildings erected. Basically it's all attractional--"come to us for the goods." If those things are going up and to the right, then we're happy. Certainly some good is done with those things, but what if we changed the game entirely?
What if we instead counted number of butts outside the church walls we served, budgets given to serve the community, the poor and the needy, and building consensus and vision in our people and the community that creates justice in the world? Jesus "so loved the world", my question is do we? We can talk all we want about how we do, but until we put our metrics behind it, I'm not sure we're really doing it.
What’s so scary is that giving up the attractional paradigm means we don’t know where the money is coming from, if the people will “buy into” the vision (I think people have an innate sense that the church should be doing good–which is why they won’t give to a “keep the machine running” vision) and stick around, and if we can be important and influential without buildings. Thoughts?