Perhaps as God took a risk in creating us out of chaos, a power that has its own agency for good and ill, that as God took a risk in creating humans and takes risks for the beautiful and the good and the true and the just, that we can feel empowered to take a risk too, and follow this Spirit where ever She leads.
Unless you bring into your awareness and consciousness, in mind and in heart, the presence of divine grace, you won’t be able to face with clear vision what is to come. You can’t do it by yourself, you need to know that God is influencing the outcome. And that is what the ritual of thanksgiving does.
When life gets rough, we need to remember that God took us this far. Thank God for that. In Arabic, the phrase is alhamdullilah — Praise be to God. Whether one says it in Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, or English, “Praise be to God” is a phrase of trust that God will take you the rest of the way.
It is Jesus I follow to Karbala.
Jesus showed me Hussain.
If I want to follow Jesus, I must follow Hussain.
Hussain shows me how to follow Jesus.
We are called to discern the difference between the divine and the demonic and unmask, name, and engage these demonic powers. It is the church’s business.
If there are gifts we can give to our children and our grandchildren, they are the gifts of flexibility, imagination, and hope. The journey they will take will likely be a rough one, to say the least. We need to prepare and equip them the best we can.
A change of heart can mean many things. I think it is the movement from resentment to gratitude. From “Why is this happening to me?” to “Why not?”
This is what I do. I am not some slick marketer who can come in and tell you how to get young people in the church, or sing and dance to soft hits of the 80s. I find most of that stuff to be a bunch of bull. I can however tell you what I think is going on and help open discussions on how we might respond, theologically, ethically, and practically to changes that are coming.
Our minds are not free if they don’t take us where our doubts take us. They are not free if we allow others to set the boundaries of what we can and cannot explore. We should search for what we think is true even if doing so challenges conventional wisdom.
Eat some real bread.
You know what it tastes like.
You have tasted what is true.
You may have been afraid of it,
What would happen to you if you talked about it,
The penalties and the rewards the world offers to keep you on message
make it easy to forget who you are.
But like any liberation from any addiction,
Bearing witness to truth makes you free.
It isn’t so simple as Christ versus Culture as some of my fellow Christians frame it. Sometimes culture is a better option than Christian doctrine. One might say, that sometimes Christ is culture over against Christian doctrine.