‘Contraditions’
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‘Contraditions’

On Palm Sunday in sunny Florida, a state full of palm trees, I walked out of church. It was the first time I walked out of a sermon. No, I wasn’t preaching, although maybe at that moment I was. The text in this Presbyterian church was Luke 19:41-44, Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem. There was no…

For a Nazareth carpenter
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For a Nazareth carpenter

For a Nazareth carpenter / who lived only 33 years / Your name sure got out.
/ It pops up all over the place.
/ I hear it at a curling event last week.
/ Books
/ movies,
/ the general public use it often.

Dual nature of the light
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Dual nature of the light

As we learn more about God’s creation, our commonsense understanding of things sometimes becomes limiting. Quantum physics, for example, is full of descriptions of the subatomic world that seem, on their surface, bizarre. Light can be described as either waves or particles. Good experiments produce evidence that supports both realities. And yet our commonsense view…

Highway in the Wilderness
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Highway in the Wilderness

I remember seeing a sign on a sharp curve in Orangeville, Michigan. It said, “Prepare to meet thy God.” It felt ominous. I cringe seeing similar signs along highways. These are “look out” rather than “look to” messages. John the Baptist gave his warning to the self-righteous holy people who say “our way or the…

Joseph, first-time dad
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Joseph, first-time dad

“The angels explained things to Joseph after he’d talked to Mary, not before. Be patient when you don’t understand.”  – Bob Goff, Live in Grace, Walk in Love (389)  He’s usually in the background. If the kids in your church are putting on a nativity play, it’s one of the minor roles. He might lead…

Communicating Jesus Through Cloth
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Communicating Jesus Through Cloth

I’ve always enjoyed making things. A friend once introduced me to a retired Wycliffe missionary who taught me to weave and allowed me to borrow a small four-shaft table loom. I didn’t weave again for years. Then in 2015 I did a special project as part of ethnographic research in the Solomon Islands: the banana-fiber…

Where’s Jesus?
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Where’s Jesus?

When 19 children and two teachers are murdered we cry, where’s Jesus? When a white supremacist kills 10 African Americans in a supermarket, where’s Jesus? When nations wage war bringing death, destruction, famine, homelessness and economic chaos, where’s Jesus? When loved ones suffer from cancer or mental illness, where’s Jesus? One might treat this question…

Kickstarting a courageous conversation
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Kickstarting a courageous conversation

Did Michael Coren hack my computer? That was my shock when a friend pointed me to The Rebel Christ. I’m currently writing a book myself with those same three words in the title (though in a different order)! Coren is a fascinating public Canadian Christian. Over the last decade he has journeyed from a conservative…

Should I invest in fear or love in 2022?
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Should I invest in fear or love in 2022?

In the Bible, Matthew 25 is a parable about a kind of investment banker who, before leaving on a long trip, distributes eight bags of gold among three of his employees. The first employee gets five bags of gold, the second gets two bags, and the third employee gets just one bag of gold.  When…

Imaging God
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Imaging God

Picture God. We might have a mental picture, but the commandment against graven images tells us not to limit God with our pictures. The Scriptures are full of metaphors to help us relate to God: Father, King, Lord, Shepherd, Rock. When theologians describe God, they often use negatives. God is independent, immutable, infinite, indivisible, and…

Don’t Cry
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Don’t Cry

As we anticipate Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17) and as we practice Purposeful Acts of Kindness (as Bob Bruinsma encouraged us to do in the last issue), we would do well to heed kindness mascot Mister Rogers’ advice: “There are three ways to ultimate success. The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” In each moment of potential kindness, however, we must ask ourselves: What does kindness look like in this situation?

At the Feet of Jesus
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At the Feet of Jesus

A large wooden crucifix stands toward the front of the crypt sanctuary in St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal. While the crucifix is not central within worship, it evidently receives much attention. A striking feature of the crucifix is the worn nature of Jesus’ feet – the paint is worn away and the surface smooth from the many hands that have rested there.