Patterns

Patterns

“Time keeps on slipping . . . into the future” (“Fly Like an Eagle,” Steve Miller Band, 1976). Have we lost a year? The pandemic has disturbed our patterns and sense of time. Immanuel Kant argued that the human mind imposes structures of time and space. The Biblical creation account depicts time and space as…

Lectio Divina
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Lectio Divina

The elder googled it, thought it sounded like a new age mystical practice and suggested I not choose the topic of lectio divina for their adult education. That response was reason enough, so I introduced them to this way of reading Scripture, which the church has practiced for 1500 years with the encouragement of monks,…

Why?
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Why?

I imagine setting up a table in the student union with a sign that just asks “Why?” Part of the mission of Geneva Campus Ministry at the University of Iowa is to help students explore this question. The university gives the students knowledge and helps them develop skills but often ignores the fundamental question of…

Come hungry
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Come hungry

We’re all hungry. Some are hungry for literal food. We might be hungry for the social engagement of eating together. COVID has prompted hunger for many aspects of life. We hunger for communion – with people and with God. God promises a banquet. In my high school we had Junior/Senior Banquets, not proms. We could…

The resting place
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The resting place

Rabbis point out that creation’s seventh day had no end, no “evening and morning.” It is the context for life, the whole story to come. Key words in Biblical passages help us make connections. The parallel words and days in Genesis 1 show the construction and populating of God’s creation temple. We miss out because…

Tradition Shapes the Heart
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Tradition Shapes the Heart

Remember the song “Tradition!” from the Fiddler on the Roof? Tevye sings the play’s theme of how to have balance in life in a rapidly changing and threatening world. Tradition gives structure and stability. Tradition forms our identity (being) and direction (doing). Christian Courier is a tradition, and this issue explores other traditions. Tevye says that, “without…

The Five Stages of Lament
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The Five Stages of Lament

Lament. Lament is an old word we are hearing more. Lament is a prayer that expresses frustration with the world. The most common Biblical Psalms are laments. They address God with poetic depictions of struggles and usually a confession of trust and vow of praise and thanksgiving. They often seem to be written retrospectively, when one is out of the pit.

Called to be Cultural Heretics
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Called to be Cultural Heretics

Heresy is that which deviates from established beliefs. Christianity itself is therefore a heresy. Christianity challenges established beliefs in our culture. It is hard for a heresy to get a hearing because it seems foreign. I completed a strange semester with students at the University of Iowa as a campus pastor this year, while also teaching at a private college with a Reformed heritage. All my students have some church background, but their foreground is more Western culture.