Is there a better word? New clothes… new car… new house… new job… new day… Don’t those three little letters, N-E-W, sum up all human hopes?
The poor want a new way, a new hope. The affluent want a new challenge, a new adventure. The living want a new opportunity. The dying want a new reality.
It never ends. When we’re born, everything is new, and we die still seeking newness. Every age, every stage brings newness. Could we live without it?
As this refugee crisis continues to speak to your heads, maybe God will speak to your heart, and you’ll help us respond as a church? Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13.2).
After a few people asked why I was going to participate in the Women’s March on Charlotte, and why was it called a "March for Women" as opposed to a "March for All", I decided that I needed to respond. So I have taken portions of emails I wrote in response to those questions and turned them into this blog post. I am very well aware that everyone that marched will answer the question differently. I can only tell my story. -Amy
As I try to weigh my own emotions, I find that I am awash, swinging from bewilderment to anger to anxiety… but the strongest sentiment I feel is just a soul-deep sadness. There is a mean spirit in the air. Social media allows us to be meaner. The Church and nation are suffering from our meanness.
That’s what happens when politicians decide what “The Holy Bible” is.
Our world seems aimed at perfection, beautiful people, beautiful things, more, bigger, better. A lot of what we strive for in life, hope for in our children, had eluded Albert. The intellect and the opportunity just weren’t in the hand he was dealt, but the unique presence Albert brought to our campus, the life he gave to this world would be misunderstood if we demeaned it as only “special.”
The most common error in reading the Bible, and the cause of most of the world’s problems with religion, is getting stuck on the words – when something much more important is being spoken.
Love is real. But so is the hateful power of revenge.
Or, maybe they are two sides of the same naked, human emotion, always warring within us, enduring all things – or inflicting all things – in a quest for submission and supremacy.
In a world of such maddening events, I am proud, honored and humbled that seven Buddhists from the other side of the world, and at least 150 neighbors, from across my own community, were comfortable to come to a Baptist church, sit for an hour, search the silence of their own souls and the strains of ancient, chanting rhythms, in search of peace.
In his research on “happiness economics,” John Helliwell writes: “if 10 percent more people thought they had someone to count on in life, it would have a greater effect on national life satisfaction than giving everyone a 50% raise.” “Someone to count on” – not economic factors that can be measured - that’s the solution to our problems.
So today, governments are afraid of preachers, because the Gospel has always been a political narrative. You only have to read the critiques by U.S. politicians and pundits of Pope Francis's comments on climate change and income inequality to understand the truth of this assertion.
So bless Mrs. Davis for her conviction. But as we say in the South “bless her heart.” Once again religion has blinded the religious from seeing that God has “more truth yet” to shine on us (John Robinson). And thanks be to God for a secular democracy – unbearably slow though it sometimes is.
Fear is at the center of our lives – and living in fear is a terrible way to live. Fear drives international policy-making. Fear drives discussions of budgeting priorities. Fear drives marketing and politics and the priorities of time and money in local households. What if we weren’t afraid?
I want to tell you about the best three hours I’ve spent lately.
Mary, who has walked the grounds at 3900 Park Road since there’s been a church on that corner, suddenly found herself dying, alone. I can’t bear that thought. So on Tuesday, I sat. Most of the time she didn’t even know I was there. I’m pretty sure that didn’t even matter.
But something has changed. I believe this. I believe that we are about to engage in a critically important, and extremely difficult, national conversation about the racial injustices inherent in our society. I am not afraid of the conversation that is coming. And it is coming – and all churches need to be involved in it. It’s too important, and the integrity of our faith will require it.
As a Baptist minister, I wish to state that Mr. Graham does not speak for me, nor for a large, and rapidly growing segment in the broad stream of Christianity.