Mercy challenges us deeply. Mercy asks me to love the unlovable, to go way beyond nice into the realm of Christlike compassion. To speak of God’s mercy toward us is to remind ourselves that we haven’t earned God’s love, and in fact we have too frequently turned away from it.
If the dismissal were about going into the world to be nice, then it might make sense to add some alleluias or even a “Yay, rah!” But the dismissal is anything but that.
If we are going to share the gifts we have been given, we need to find effective ways to do this online. St. Paul wrote about being all things to all people, and that means meeting people online.
All it takes to have a great website for your church is the will to do it. If you have that, you can find a way. It might involve a little money, or a few contacts with experts…
I want us to put our best face forward, literally for the sake of the Gospel. My hope is to kindle a conversation and spur action that might help even a few congregations have better websites.
I do believe Jesus is present in our legislative deliberations. Maybe he’s rolling his eyes sometimes, but plenty of holy stuff happens as we debate important issues and even when we go down parliamentary rabbit holes.
Back in my parish priest days, I would occasionally say in sermons or classes, “There are no saints of the status quo.” What I meant by that is that nearly all the people we remember and commemorate as saints are people who, in some way, rocked the boat.
Charles was martyred so that Anglican Christians would still have bishops (and the whole three-fold ministry). In other words, this martyr valued the Gospel and the church more than his own life. He is a witness for us. That is what a martyr is, after all.
The truth is, scriptures like these were not written for comfortable people. They were not written by comfortable people. These scriptures have nothing whatsoever to do with comfort. This week, we can’t look away. And we shouldn’t look away from the message of grace and mercy that the Gospel has for us.
I realized I had never posted much about the last book I wrote with the Rev’d Melody Shobe, Faithful Questions: Exploring the Way with Jesus. So here is a sample chapter on prayer.
A 2014 survey shows that we Americans are not praying the way Jesus taught us to pray. Instead, we mostly pray for ourselves and our own personal needs. But that’s not how Jesus taught us to pray.
I was delighted when Cambridge University Press asked me if they could send along a review copy of George Herbert: 100 Poems. While an ebook is available, this is one to own in paper. Keep it at your bedside for morning or bedtime reading, or perhaps leave it at work for mental excursions into rural England during your breaks.