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Showing posts from June, 2017

The church is far from perfect...

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The church is far from perfect…but there's no better place for imperfect people to gather to worship a perfect God. 
I love what this blogger wrote: “I want a [church] service that is not sensational, flashy, or particularly ‘relevant.’… At church, I do not want to be entertained. I do not want to be the target of anyone’s marketing…”
As I age in my faith I find myself becoming exasperated with shallow and/or slick expressions of church. I look forward to gathering in community where there is prayerful confession, communion (meaningfully sharing the eucharist with others), preaching of the Word so it brings life where we expected death, and  anointing the sick — you know, those strange rituals and traditions Christians have been practicing for the past 2,000 years. It’s this sacramental liturgy that makes the church relevant, no matter the society, culture or era.  Sacramental liturgy is effective because in them Christ himself is at work - there’s no need for a marketing director o…

Embellished Words

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"You don’t make your words 
true by embellishing them with 
religious lace" ~E Peterson

#MetroLifeChurh #minmchurch

Religion as a Transaction; Transformation Optional?

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In his book The Cost of DiscipleshipDietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:  "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,  Baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession,  Absolution without personal confession… Cheap grace is ... without discipleship, [it's] Grace without the cross..."
Maybe the polar opposite of cheap grace is transformative grace. It says I was broken and in need of repair; I experienced the love and mercy of a benevolent God and while still imperfect I'm being healed; I'm being restored; I’m being made whole. Receiving the transformative grace of God opens our eyes to His amazing acceptance of us in spite of our own failures and sin.  I think transformative grace humbles us in the presence of God and produces an overwhelming gratitude which ought to flow towards others.  Just a thought…pkes
#MetroLifeChurch#CheapGrace#minmchurch Photo courtesy of Kirby Trapolino

How can God be three people at once?

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Think of the Christian Trinity not as a mathematical problem to be solved, but a mystery to be unearthed.
The Trinity is a huge and central part of Christian theology. However the subject can quickly divide, polarize, and alienate many believers - it’s truly a conundrum to be explored. Personally, I like, no need, a little mystery in my theology - it’s good for my soul. A difficult and demanding doctrine like the Trinity humbles me. That’s good, too. Christianity is a sacred mystery, a confession, not an explanation. So I fully confess God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even though I can’t fully explain it.
#TrinitySunday #MetroKifeChurch #minmchurch

Betrayal Part II - Judas, Real Disciples Only

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“…This is my body, which is given for...hey, not you Judas! No way…Real disciples only...” ~ J Martin
Who was betrayed by Judas? The obvious answer - “…Judas, the one called Iscariot....one of the Twelve ... conferred with the high priests and ...Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus [later that night]Judas came ... to Jesus to kiss him ….Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”Luke 22
I’m wondering aloud here: Did the 11 remaining disciples feel betrayed by Judas, too? Do you recall that hot flash of pain at the recognition that someone you knew very well acted treasonously?  The acts of Judas had to pull the reality rug out from under the disciples.  Betrayal is never pleasant. Mostly it sucks. But it always seems to hurt just a little bit more when it comes from a person who you were once close to, and the twelve disciples were pretty tight, for three years, at least. Friendship is supposed to be one of the things that makes life worth living, but betrayal, it’s …