We had a lovely service this morning(Feb. 19), and I am feeling good. The church received some good press last week from the Keene Sentinel, and I was delighted to see some new faces in the pews…
Isabel will spend the next 2 1/2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia. She has a healthy sense of her own dignity, and she is a good judge of character – so I am confident in her ability to manage this challenge… And yet, I am still her father… and she my daughter.
And so, last Monday, we spent the last day we would spend together for 2 1/2 years.
We climbed Mount Monadnock…
… real spiritual death does not come from suffering. James Baldwin says that the real spiritual death comes from hatred.
The facilitator of the session asked us to raise our hands if any of us personally knew people who had died of an opioid drug overdose.
Everyone present raised a hand…
Among the books I’d just piled onto the bookshelf in my office was a slim volume with Tutu’s name inscribed in the spine. Fetching it from the shelf, I held in my hands a book entitled “Crying In the Wilderness: The Struggle for Justice in South Africa.”
When I opened the book, something fell from the pages onto the floor of my office.
I picked it up and examined it.
The great poet, translator, and pastor of 29 years, Reverend Eugene Peterson was once asked if he had any advice for people trying to choose a church to go to. He replied: “…go to the closest church where you live, and the smallest. And if after six months it’s just not working, go to the next smallest.”…
Sean told me that the splits that I saw in the post and beam were called “checking.” He said it was totally normal and nothing to worry about… The wood changes as it dries, but not sufficiently to undermine structural integrity of a house.
And then he told me something else – something quite amazing…
Stick the word “gospel” in front of the word “truth” and you get something that is undeniably true.
The gospel truth.
But I maintain that gospel truth is not the truth of fact. It is not the truth of law.
The Gospel, DOES arrive at a real and powerful truth – I affirm this. But I suggest that the gospel arrives at this truth by way of description, not prescription.
…it is easy enough to cite data that objectively demonstrates that there are more Christians in the world than followers of any other religion… But even if this is true, it would be a mistake, I think, to ignore the fact that other religions (even if we don’t practice them) play an important role in our lives in the 21st century.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on June 24, 2002, two men in plain clothes stormed the offices of The Analyst newspaper in Monrovia, Liberia. They grabbed the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, a man named Hassan Bility and forcibly pulled him out into the street.