Pioneer Christian musician, Keith Green, with his “Songs For the Shepherd” album. pic.twitter.com/4leUi86qyK
— ChristianHistoryPics (@XianHistoryPics) May 24, 2014
Daily Archives: May 2, 2019
“Our country is made up of people from all different countries,” Ms. Hemp said. “I don’t know what the answer is to the bigger problems, but this is something I can do on a local level to make a difference.”
Eastside Baptist Church, located in Union Springs, an old cotton town around 45 miles southeast of Montgomery, began reaching out to the town’s immigrant community eight years ago, providing tutoring, mentoring and other assistance. Gene Bridgman, the pastor, told me that it all started when a woman in the congregation brought by 10 children whose families came from southern Mexico, part of a large influx of agricultural workers. She was already doing what she could to help them — and soon the rest of the church was, too.
What gives me hope is that this openness isn’t just on the individual or congregational level; it is spreading across communities, as their faith overtakes their fear.
Earl Hinson, a former mayor of Union Springs and a member at Eastside, said that while the arrival of so many immigrants had taken some adjustment, the town’s residents have come to accept them. “Once people get to know them, their hearts change,” he said. “The perception that people have against them mostly comes from the news.”
Bruce Smithhart, a retired prison guard and veteran, said: “The Union Springs economy depends on immigrants. Immigrants are why Union Springs is as good as it is.” Everyone I talked to from the church agreed.
Alabama Evangelicals are often found ministering to & welcoming immigrants into their churches/communities. This might not fit w/ popular perception, but it’s true for many guided by Faith/Scripture.
My latest for @nytimes.
Quoted @dhmccain @Preecha007. https://t.co/ugz986WwmZ
— Alan Cross (@AlanLCross) May 1, 2019
It is easy for us to forget that that is where the first disciples were on Easter morning—in the cul de sac. They had no place to go. Peter and Andrew, James and John, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James and the other women. The enterprise was based on Jesus of Nazareth. This movement which they had given themselves to—this God thing—it was all dependent upon him. The healing of the sick, delivering people from dark drives and obsessions, loosening the grip of loss, the teaching about how God works in peoples’ lives, (not just religious practices), but having the ability to bring people into God’s presence, into an experience with the living God by his words and presence. When Jesus was around, God came to them; forgiveness flowed; broken lives were mended. All this seemed to happen around him. You can see the problem I suppose—Jesus was the franchise. There was no way to posture or pretend about these things. Without him it would be futile to carry on.
To further illustrate my point, remember the disciples didn’t have any of these. The Pharisees and the scribes had the Hebrew scriptures; the priests in the temple had the altar of sacrifice, the altar of incense, the candelabra, the shew bread, the robes, the Holy of Holies—all that the disciples had was Jesus. Frankly, if he had not been raised we would never have heard of him. And just to have heard of him is hardly enough anyway. Without Jesus they were clearly in the cul de sac of death, which Karl Barth once called “the hopeless cul de sac.” That’s what those who stumble over Jesus’ seemingly exclusive statement that he is “the way, the truth and the life” too often forget. The Easter message is quite clear here—there’s one way out of the cul de sac and Jesus pioneered it.
— Kathryn Jean Lopez (@kathrynlopez) May 2, 2019
Q & A 45
Q. How does Christ’s resurrection
A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death,
so that he might make us share in the righteousness
he obtained for us by his death.1
Second, by his power we too
are already raised to a new life.2
Third, Christ’s resurrection
is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.3
1 Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:16-20; 1 Pet. 1:3-5
2 Rom. 6:5-11; Eph. 2:4-6; Col. 3:1-4
3 Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:12-23; Phil. 3:20-21
‘My Lord and my God!’ pic.twitter.com/VdWOQWM1zT
— Kalina Boulter (@KalinaBoulter) April 28, 2019
[One of the most striking examples] of secularization in contemporary Christianity is the quiet dropping of belief in a future life. Historically, this belief was the lifeblood of dynamic Christianity. Early Christians thought of themselves as “aliens and exiles on earth” and as persons whose true citizenship was in heaven. And throughout the Christian centuries, belief in a future life was at the heart of all living faith. Now however, this faith, though rarely denied, is equally rarely affirmed. I myself acquired two degrees in Christian theology and completed all the requirements for ordination to the Anglican ministry without receiving any instruction in this doctrine, or even being exposed to sermons about it.
–Paul Badham, “Some secular trends in the Church of England today”, in Religion, State, and Society in Modern Britain (Lampeter: Edward Mellen Press, 1989), p.26
So if the concern isn’t over theology — or any specific, known teaching of the church — then why the alarm bell?
It should warn us about our vulnerability. The shooting in Poway is a terrifying reminder that the church isn’t immune to any moral malady that stalks our land. It may land within the church with varying degrees of intensity and frequency, but it will land in the church. And as we see the spread of the very kind of online hate that seduced the Poway shooter, it’s incumbent upon the church to wake up and deal with this modern, deadly incarnation of the very old sin of white supremacy.
In 2015 and 2016, when my family was in the crosshairs of the alt-right — with my adopted daughter the subject of vile and vicious online memes — members of my church (and my Christian friends from across the nation) were shocked and appalled. The vast majority didn’t even know online communities such as 4chan or 8chan existed. Some were completely unfamiliar with terms such as “meme” or words like “sh**posting” or even “trolling.”
Even folks who were far more wise to the Internet’s ways assured me that there was no real risk. The sh**posters and trolls were in it for the “lulz,” the laughs. They just wanted to inflict — and mock — our family’s pain. In hindsight, that complacency was foolish.
Now we know. Now we have no excuse not to know. Among the many malevolent forces that stalk our children — including the children of the faithful — is a new form of an old evil.
The Poway synagogue shooting should be an alarm bell for the church. Here’s why: https://t.co/nNY9Y89co8
— David French (@DavidAFrench) May 2, 2019
As I am in the US for the first time in many years, I find myself longing for the simplicity of Maua, Kenya, during Easter time. There Easter has none of the commercial trappings we find here. As I enter grocery stores, discount stores, and department stores I am shocked at the amount of space taken by the Easter candy, bunnies and stuffed animals, baskets, decorations, and new spring clothing. These items take more space than any grocery store has for all their goods in Maua.
I recently read that an estimated $2 billion will be spent on Easter candy this year in the US. Two billion dollars to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who asked us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, house the homeless, care for the sick and imprisoned, and welcome the stranger.
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Exploring two Great #Easter Themes: Forgiveness and Hope https://t.co/FOBjhmqSAR [Tatian, National Gallery (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)] #theology #christology #southcarolina Listen carefully for a famous Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside (1876-1951) story pic.twitter.com/PvrsXVrn5f
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 1, 2019
My dear Christians and all citizens of South Sudan, peace be with you.
Easter celebration this year should be to us the celebration of hope for lasting peace in our beloved country South Sudan. Easter is about a start of a new life after death.
On the first day of resurrection, the word of peace was the first gift of the risen Lord to His discouraged and fearful disciples. He said to them: “peace be with you”. And to Mary, who was worried and crying, He asked: “Woman, why are you crying?”
Indeed, as South Sudanese, we find ourselves in the same situations of worries and crying as Mary did due to the prolonged suffering caused to us by the senseless war in our Country.
But the good news is that, at Easter all our tears and fears are turned to joy and hope for peace.
— Anglican Communion News Service (@AnglicanNews) April 18, 2019
Pour out thy Spirit upon all of thy sons and daughters, Almighty God, that like thy servant Elisabeth Cruciger our lips may praise thee, our lives may bless thee, and our worship may give thee glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Margriet Gosker (@margrietgosker) May 5, 2017
Blessed be Thou, O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to Thine abundant mercy didst beget us again unto a living hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us who are kept by Thy power through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Whom having not seen, we love; to Whom with Thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, praise and dominion, for ever and ever.
–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)
Images of the Resurrection
Noli me tangere by Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. pic.twitter.com/9pSSb6GxfL
— James Woodward (@R_C_Woodward) April 26, 2019
I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.