The World Together blog : North America
My year of reading biblically wasn’t exactly a year like A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically or Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Instead, I took just eight months and one week to read through the Bible — beginning with the New Testament in the Common English Bible and then the Old Testament in The Message.
I used to think that I wanted a progressive church, and when I first started out on my church-planting endeavor, that was what I tried to do. I now realize that this is not what we should be doing as Christians.
A couple weeks ago, my husband and I shared in one of the adult Sunday school classes about our time in Guatemala serving with Mennonite Central Committee which ended in early October.
Before embracing his vocation, St. Francis of Assisi was a young man of wealth and privilege. His love of beauty was matched only by his repulsion towards ugliness. That ugliness had its clearest expression in the lepers, a group that not only disgusted Francis, but struck him with terror. Once, while riding, he came upon a man with leprosy begging for alms. At first, he pulled back in fear and disgust. However, he caught himself, returning to the man. He got off his horse and the leper raised his hand as though to receive alms. Francis did, indeed, give him alms, but also reached out and kissed the man.
Thank you for first snows. For a little boy who asks: “Should we sing, Mommy? Should we sing about the snow?”
The day I discovered all of my friends were Christian was the day that I began to feel strangely uncomfortable. To be fair, I have spent my entire life in Christian settings — I grew up going to Christian elementary schools, then went to a Christian secondary school, and finally landed myself in a Christian university. I went to seminary.
The other day I received an email from someone telling me his marketing secret. His advice? Don’t sell your company, tell the story of your community. His theory was that branding and marketing get it wrong by trying to tell you how awesome they are, what awards they’ve won, and how they are the only thing for you.
Most of us live our lives within tightly-controlled comfort zones, whether staying in our air-conditioned or well-heated homes, or avoiding “the other” in our midst. However, I have learned from and admire those hearty souls who travel to distant lands and interact with locals, whether as missionaries, pilgrims or simply life-long learners.
Disney just released a trailer for Maleficent, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the wicked fairy’s point of view starring Angelina Jolie.
Drew G. I. Hart
In Luke 7:36-50, Jesus is invited over to a pharisee’s house for a dinner party. He has a place and space reserved at the table. His presence is welcomed. A woman realizes that Jesus will be at this home and decides to come by unannounced. However, the pharisee hosting the party only saw a “sinner,” rather than this woman who was made in the image of God. Her stigmatized reputation as a sinner was reason enough for many to marginalize this woman in that society.