Archive for August, 2017

Christianity and the Art of Hospitality

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

So maybe the Christian message, in one simple form, can be heard as this … In coming to understand God’s love for us, we work as best we can to reflect or share that love using Christ as a model.

And that life does give a model, a clear model.  And key to it … the art of hospitality.

That hospitality in turn may possibly be the most radical of Christian practices.

The challenge is straightforward…

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you  (Matt. 5:44)

And the practices are very real, brought together in Communion and Christ washing the feet of this 12 closest followers.

Table fellowship.  Service. With those we like and with those we don’t. With those similar to us and those not. With saints and with sinners.

There is no “out” in this for liberals.  There is no “out” in this for conservatives. There is no place for cynicism.  No place for anger.

All there is is an “us” and moving forward, as best we can, in the challenging spirit of love and reconciliation.

More Than Just Nice

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The journey of church and spirituality is long.  As one author phrased it…

Eventually there comes a gathering discontent and a quiet, inner disappointment.  Leaders look up and find themselves somehow stuck in the same routine of mediocre niceness that never seems to get to the radical drama, adventure, desperate passion, and glorious power depicted in the Scripture.  Earnest, gifted, mature Christians – we feel like we are all dressed up with nowhere to go.

A beautiful line.

And how then do we continue to move beyond “mediocre niceness”?

To answer the question, as a Pastor, it seems an immense difference in calling to say we are to be the church vs. we are to build a church.

To be the church pushes us, edges us forward.  Pushes us beyond the comforts of  Sunday.  Anchors us “out there.”  Builds clarity around God’s words, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.”   Builds movement.  Grows a missional awareness both for individuals and for the corporate church.

And on gaining clarity about what it is to be the church, it comes back around, and we have a far clearer idea how to build a church, a church now more than just nice but actually courageous!