Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
On the second Sunday of Easter, we learned Osama bin Laden had been killed by United States Special Forces in Pakistan. Hearing the news, I was at first dismissive - an attitude lacking sobriety and not hard to find in the various print, social media, and comedic responses to this event. The temptation to casually respond preys on our tendency to become isolated from the rest of the world – with which we do not have to deal directly. This is natural, of course, for our plates are full of work and play and bills and so forth. But the possibility and reality of death does not escape us. Navy Seals courageously risked their lives to follow a direct order – one that took the life of the world’s most wanted fugitive. U.S. Armed Forces men and women risk their lives every day to carry out direct orders pertaining to the protection of life and various societies. And civilians lose their lives.
A more sober look at the weekend’s news takes me to the Tower of Babel – where the marvel of human potential was on full display. After all, we have been created “a little lower than the angels” and are capable of great things – still wanting to make a name for ourselves. We see and experience this both in unimaginable evil and remarkable virtue. So we look with humility at judgment and justice, both our own and that of the world’s most powerful. And we grieve, and we pray, and we make room for life.
As Christ’s followers, we stand in the hope of Pentecost. For in that place we remember that the Spirit of God is at work creating the antithesis of Babel – a reality called the Church. Here the gospel of Jesus reconciles us to God and one another across language and culture. Death is overcome by Christ's life, death, and resurrection. And as we turn our attention to this mystery, confusion and “making a name for ourselves” are displaced by worship.
And this is the hope of the world.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Plowing through this week's passage or creating a new world via a short story, the author makes decisions about what stays and what goes. The sharpening process tends to be painful, for it usually means rejecting various good ideas/themes in order to focus on one matter. Hence, a shovel is no good for digging a post-hole. To achieve proper depth without disturbing a large area of soil/rock around the post, post-hole diggers fit the bill (or tractor borne augers if you're lucky).
I hope to preach the gospel clearly and well, which requires sound and thorough learning - a willingness to contently dig in one place for a while. I have to remember that there's always next week or next time, so it's ok and even necessary to reject a handful of good things as I prepare. After all, when it comes to writing and teaching through scripture, in the words of Robert Earl Keen, "the road goes on forever and the party never ends."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
So, the kids remain quiet in their room. Amberly made it safely to New Mexico. And now I must continue hashing out tomorrow's sermon. Of course, this won't be the last late night of sermon work. All you seasoned pastors out there can attest to that! However, it will most likely be the last time I stay up late for the sake of a seminary assignment.
I'm a little nostalgic, yes, though the thought of losing sleep and conversation and a million other things for school assignments keeps that to a minimum. Some of these nights have been downright painful. Others have just been annoying. Some the result of procrastination, some the result of unforeseen roadblocks. Many of them though, have been significant experiences in this formational education journey.
Here's to the coffee, lamplight, and patient family. I'm off to try and finish the last one strong. And since only Chad would be able to make sense of my outline tomorrow, a good bit of work remains before this thing takes audible shape.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"If I had a dollar bill, yes I believe I surely will,
Go to town and drink my fill - early in the morning."
I'm wondering what all of you do early in the morning.
This particular day when i got out of the shower, Morgan had a pile of blocks out in the living room floor. "Hey Dad, do you know why I'm sorting blocks? Because sorting is my favorite thing to do when I wake up in the morning!"
All of you organized people should be proud, as Amberly certainly was today.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Of course, work and play can't be so simply bifurcated, but it seems good to be mindful of each one's necessity and appropriate portion. Work regularly crosses the play line, and (especially with Strebeck vacations) play often opens the work gate. Rythyms of life I guess...
I guess that's all for now. I just spent a day with the guys at Abbey of Gethsemane, so I'll try to post about that sometime; a nice day of peace and prayer before the semester gets rolling.