Our mission: To understand and live out Jesus' vision for a just and loving world.

Posts by Rev. Tom

Rioters in the Capitol building

Insurrection

Like most, if not all, of you I have been “unpacking” the events of this past week over the last few days. In this moment of massive COVID fatalities nationwide, the deaths of 5, the injury of 50, the arrest of 80 in the nation’s capital may seem like small potatoes, but the violent and seditious attack on the halls of government has reverberated across the country in ways that few of us can ignore. [...]

The Spirit Moves Online

In times of turmoil and chaos, it can be all too easy to get lost in the dark. One of the things that I have gratefully gleaned from a lifetime of biblical focus, however, is that more often than not these times of darkness in our lives can both help us shake off habitual patterns and help us more readily identify the points of light that have been there for us all along. As the Pandemic forced us suddenly to abandon our normal patterns of life and work, I imagine that most of us simply yearned for a return to those old patterns as soon as possible. But, as things have gone on, it has become somewhat more evident that we have also been provided an opportunity for reflecting on what is of genuine importance for our future. Some of the patterns that we have taken for granted will be joyfully restored to us at some point (we hope). Patterns of relationships and friendships that have been sorely missed may come back to us and be welcomed with tremendous enthusiasm, for example. But not every pattern in our common life has been universally life-giving, and some of the well-established habits in any organization eventually prevent forward movement, they may even encourage attrition to the extent that they prevent new perspectives from taking hold. [...]

LISTEN UP

As people chosen by God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as God has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Creator, through him.
Colossians 3:12-17 [...]

FILLING THE GAPS

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Creator through him. [...]

THEODICY

So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. [...]

PROOF OF GOD?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. [...]