Tag Archives: gospel

a frightening poll for followers of Jesus

This Washington Post-ABC News Poll from last October should strike fear into the hearts of those who are disciples of the Man from Nazareth. White evangelical Christians were the biggest believers that the #BLOTUS had a strong moral character. White non-evangelical Christians were not far behind.

What that reveals about white Christians, especially evangelicals, should start alarm bells ringing in every church in the country. If those who most deeply profess to follow Jesus actually think Trump has a strong moral character, it means that they have absolutely no clue as to who Jesus is or what He taught.

The poll does, however, give us a good indication of why the church no longer has the authority and moral leadership it once had. White Protestants need to once again figure out that faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus is not the same as blind patriotism, love of country, or love of power.

The most interesting statistic was that those who professed no religion seemed to have the best understanding of the lack of moral character of the #BLOTUS. Is that possibly because their understanding of morality isn’t filtered through the lens of religion?

enough for us all…

We all want to help one another, Human beings are like that. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. Earth has enough for our need, but not for our greed.:

The new Health Care Bill passed by the House  yesterday is yet another example of how power corrupts and the greed of the wealthy knows no limits. Our nation sees less justice with each passing day for the poor, the marginalized, and the powerless.

Those of us who identify with the least of these among us, those of us who try to live lives modeled after the man of Nazareth, know that the answer to injustice is love. And the more radical that love, the more effective it is at ripping through the lies of those in power.

Now is the time for us to demonstrate faithfulness to the Gospel in everything we do and say. Now is when we must not be silent, but speak the truth to those whose disregard for justice threatens those who need it most.

the great divide

What a wonderful illustration of the great divide. This delightful cartoon tells the story of one of my favorite quotes.

“The distance between us and the poor is the distance between us and God.” 

A church that is happy and taking its ease during these times is a church that doesn’t comprehend the love of God, or the gospel of Jesus Christ. And any Christian leader that isn’t outraged at our government’s treatment of the poor and marginalized needs to wake up and pay attention.

 

only when necessary

st francis of assisi:

One of the messages scrolling across the digital signboard of Forest Road United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia proclaims:

“Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read.”

Hopefully, the message those people read is one of faithfulness and love, where the grace and compassion of Christ is freely given and available to all.

the Holy Family today

Here is a powerful statement of faithfulness. This is art that is challenging power while proclaiming the Gospel. I am inspired that there are believers like the #nakedpastor who still have the courage to speak the truth to those in authority and remain true to the call of Jesus in our lives.

#BLOTUS would not allow Jesus and His parents into the United States today, even if they were fleeing for their lives.  Drumpf knows the danger the Christ child is to his  administration’s views and wishes.

I have hidden behind walls of barbed wire and concertina in Vietnam.  It can make you feel safer. But, the thing to remember is that walls hold you in  just as much as they keep others out. And I, for one, don’t like being a captive.

today’s sermon: WWDD

We have entered a time in the life of our nation when faithfulness to the Gospel is about to “get real” as they say. The chasm between patriotism and discipleship is growing ever wider. Executive orders are being issued daily that are in direct opposition to the values of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel lesson for this morning is Matthew 5:1-12. It’s the Sermon on the Mount, also known as the Beatitudes. As I have struggled to prepare a meaningful sermon for my small and aging congregation I have tried to be open to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I could not stop the tears on seeing this teeshirt,  Jesus as a refugee again brought home the ugly reality of authoritarian rhetoric being enacted into law.

I know that Jesus promises to bless us, I know that Jesus teaches us to live lives of love, mercy, nonviolence and compassion. The issue I am grappling with now is how to demonstrate that in a nation that is bowing down to one who ignores, even flaunts Christ’s example and teachings.

I know WWJD. What truly frightens me, is that I also know WWDD. The two are diametrically opposed.

I have committed myself to following the man from Nazareth. That means I cannot follow BLOTUS. I am truly saddened that many of my congregation are not able to make the same choice.

a short homily on Christian values

Truth be told... Why ? I think they have become sociopathic by losing their capacity for compassion and empathy and have replaced it with selfishness and greed by helping profitable corporations and enriching the wealthy.:

This morning’s gospel reading is from the 11th chapter of Matthew. John the Baptist is in Herod’s dungeon. When he hears of what Jesus was doing, he sends his followers to ask him if he (Jesus), is the Messiah.

The answer Jesus gives to John’s followers is both simple and direct. There’s no mistaking the actions, or the values, of Jesus.

“Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

Look around you. The ones you see doing the works, and living the values of Jesus, are those who demonstrate an authentic Christian spirituality. You can see “Christian values.” They are centered on helping those most in need.