Thing is, it’s really bad out there, in the world, and in here, in my own self. Crying out in desperation to the one who holds the cosmos together in his own hand would be such a sensible thing to do, if only I would do it, and the grieving woman in the bookshop would do it, and everybody on the internet would do it, and the people who are picking up the rubble of such a violent wickedness would do it. Because when you call upon the name of the Lord, whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, whatever you’ve endured, he will hear you. He will come and save you, most of all from yourself. He will even save you from your own thoughts, from being his enemy.
Honored to serve with a Dinka (South Sudan) congregation here in South Dakota.
The Church Missionary Society began work in 1899 in the Sudan in Omdurman, and the Christian faith spread rapidly among Africans of the southern region of the country. Until 1974, the Diocese of Sudan was part of the (Anglican) Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Church in the Sudan reverted to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury until the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, consisting of four new dioceses, was established in 1976.
In 1983 the government of Sudan was seized by Islamicists who declared sharia, requiring all Sudanese to convert to Islam on pain of death. On May 16 a small group of Anglican and Roman Catholic chiefs in southern Sudan, together with their bishops, clergy, and laity, declared that they “would not abandon God as [they] knew him”. With that declaration the second cycle of the Sudanese civil war began. (The first cycle of…
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She’s not writing as a “theologian” but she’s doing some darn good theology. Doing the word that she is hearing and giving place in her heart.
Well, here we are, trudging through May.
Somehow, we’re already on the second week, and if you’re feeling like time is traveling at breakneck speed, then get in line.
I’ve received a lot of messages from thoughtful, lovely humans asking how my mom is doing in her stroke recovery. And, honestly, she’s doing amazing. She is my hero, and has made a remarkable recovery so far.
But reflecting on her journey, since that fateful evening, December 27, I’ve also done some reflecting on my own journey.
I’ve learned a lot of things. Some pretty important – like relearning how to drive a car. Because yes, the stereotype is true that New Yorkers don’t know how to drive. Some trivial, like never to take an Aspirin on an empty stomach.
But if I were to boil down the biggest thing I’ve learned from this journey so far, besides the…
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The arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane lifts an inmate’s gaze above his own immediate grievances.
“R” needed to talk. It had been a rough couple of weeks for him. He’d gotten a write-up for an interaction/altercation with one of the COs (correctional officers). He’d tried to appeal it, but that failed and he was told he’d be on lock-down for 10 days. He was angry and thought the system was treating him unfairly. I gave him the time and space he needed to talk things out.
After he had talked things through he was ready for our study. I had us first look at this scripture:
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NKJV)
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I asked “R” to describe what it was…
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A brave piece drawn from reflection upon a literary masterpiece.
We might also consider Paul’s warning in Romans 1:18 and following, in which sexual sin is not just a bit of questionable but ultimately justifiable “love”; it is symptomatic of conscious rebellion against God.
Early in his pilgrimage through Hell, Dante (the character) is given a warning. It is a warning he does not heed and consequently a lesson he does not learn. If commentary on canto V of Inferno is any indication, it is also a lesson that we, the audience, have not learned and the consequences of this lesson-not-learned are reverberating throughout both the city of the world and of God.
Making his way from the first circle to the second, Dante and Virgil must pass by Minos, the infernal judge who determines which circle of Hell (and, consequently, which infernal punishment) the condemned will eternally suffer. He is Satan’s sorting hat.
Minos gives a warning to Dante: “O thou! who to this residence of woe approachest!… Look how thou enter here; beware in whom thou place thy trust. Let not the entrance broad deceive thee to thy harm.” Being…
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Great thoughts on what, for this year, might be missed opportunity. In Anglicanism, there were/are “Gesima Sundays” in the weeks preceding Lent, a time to get ready for the season.
Ash Wednesday, 2017, Lent has begun. Some people have not yet decided what they are doing for Lent. To people in this situation, I heard someone say, “Don’t worry about preparing for Lent because Lent is a preparation.” The implication being that one does not prepare for preparing. This way of looking at Lent – a preparation – is rather common today. The thought is that as we progress through Lent we are preparing for Easter. So ingrained has this thought become that some are genuinely puzzled by the idea of preparing for Lent. This was once expressed to me by a priest when I had mentioned to him that Lent is preceded by weeks of preparation (both liturgical and practical) in the Byzantine churches. It sounded strange to the priest that there would be a preparation for the preparation.
Is Lent a preparation? Is being a preparation the best…
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“…the secular understanding of reason, that being reason divorced from faith, is not sufficient for engaging with non-secular cultures. It actually works against a true multiculturalism and dialogue between peoples. In a country such as the United States, this creates a split personality; we are a country incapable of dialoguing with its self.”
In a recent interview, Dean Baquet, The New York Times’ executive editor, admitted that media powerhouses including himself and other journalists at the New York Times do not understand religion and the role it plays in people’s lives.
I want to make sure that we are much more creative about beats out in the country so that we understand that anger and disconnectedness that people feel. And I think I use religion as an example because I was raised Catholic in New Orleans. I think that the New York-based and Washington-based too probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion. We have a fabulous religion writer, but she’s all alone. We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives. And I think we can do much, much better. And I think there are things that we can be more creative about to understand the country.
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