Showing posts from March, 2012

Lent - Shattering Shame

In the Gospel of John, there is this amazing story about an interaction between Jesus, an unnamed woman, and a group of religious people. Read it a couple of times before moving on... "The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.   Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'    They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.    When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'    And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.    Jesus s

New Narrative - Worship

We are rapidly approaching Easter Sunday. It is the season when our world and our minds begin pointing toward resurrection, rebirth, and new life. The daffodil have bloomed, the magnolia have blossomed, and the trees are beginning to green. The church has been moving through the forty day desert of Lent growing ever closer to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This is a tremendous season to turn our hearts toward the spiritual disciplines.  The center of our lives as Christians is the discipline of worship. The next few posts will have worship as their focus. A lot has been written about worship throughout the last several years. Much of the discussion has focused on questions of style and methodology. It is easy to grow weary of this discussion because there are faithful people with diverse and often divergent opinions about the how, the when, and the where of worship. Adding to this discussion would simply be stacking someone else's opinion and convictions on top of an already insane

Lent - A Season of Vulnerability

The Season of Lent is an uncomfortable season for many of us. It is a season that is often marked by stillness, listening, honesty, openness, and letting go. In our noisy world we do not like such words. In our busy lives we do not like such propositions. In our culture of pretense we do not like the call on our lives to be genuine and honest with who we are. Lent is a season of acknowledging our frailty and brokenness. Lent is a season of ultimate vulnerability. Take the next twenty minutes to watch this video by Dr. Brene Brown. I promise that it will be more than worth it. Vulnerability is a powerful part of what it means to be human, to be connected to one another. This Lent, consider what it might mean for you to be more vulnerable. Consider what Dr. Brown says gets in the way of our ability to connect. Consider letting go of who you think you should be in favor of who you really are. Lent is a season of vulnerability.

New Narrative - Praying Life Together

One of my friends and colleagues in ministry once said, "One of the most powerful things for a child's faith development is for them to see their parents praying." I wholeheartedly agree. I would only add to it by saying that it is even more powerful when children and their parent(s) pray together. One of the recurring memories of my childhood is evening prayer time with my parents. Every evening, we would gather in one of the bedrooms (I have an older brother and an older sister) to pray together. The prayers were often simple and rather quick, but they always happened. And I couldn't go to sleep without them. Every night, our prayers would end with us reciting the Lord's Prayer together. This continued all the way through my teenage years. And this evening discipline continues on into my family to this day. More important than the actual evening ritual of praying together is the discipline of praying life together as a family. Consider what might happen as a fam