And I think that's what our world is desperately in need of - lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about.
Only God is awesome.
One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn't a call to take the sword or the throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future.
...I believe in a God of scandalous grace. I have pledged allegiance to a King who loved evildoers so much he died for them, teaching us that there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for.
But we live in a world that has lost its appreciation for small things. We live in a world that wants things bigger and bigger. We want to supersize our fries, sodas, and church buildings. But amid all the supersizing, many of us feel God doing something new, something small and subtle. This thing Jesus called the kingdom of God is emerging across the globe in the most unexpected places, a gentle whisper amid the chaos.
I felt so thirsty for God, so embarrassed by Christianity, and so ready for something more.
If you have the gift of frustration and the deep sense that the world is a mess, thank God for that; not everyone has that gift of vision.
Over and over, the dying and the lepers would whisper the mystical word namaste in my ear. We really don’t have a word like it in English (or even much of a Western conception of it). They explained to me that namaste means “I honor the Holy One who lives in you.” I knew I could see God in their eyes. Was it possible that I was becoming a Christian, that in my eyes they could catch a glimpse of the image of my Lover?
You guys are all into that born again thing, which is great. We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy too…[And he paused in the awkward silence.] But I guess that’s why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.
What do we do when the foolishness of the cross actually makes more sense than the wisdom of the sword?
Now I think ultimately our hope is certainly that people can feel and taste the goodness of God and to find the salvation in Jesus's love and sacrifice. Sometimes the biggest barrier to that has been Christians and has been a Church that is numb to the poverty of the world or just sees our Christianity as a ticket into heaven while ignoring the hells of the world around us. And we're not willing to settle for that kind of Christianity. We believe in a kingdom that begins now and that the kingdom of God Jesus preached is not just something we're to go to when we die but that we're to bring down on earth as it is in heaven.
Most good things have already been said far too many times and just need to be lived.
To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians.
Liturgy and worship were never meant to be confined to the cathedrals and sanctuaries. Liturgy at its best can be performed like a circus or theater - making the Gospel visible as a witness to the world around us.
I engage with local politics because it affects people I love. And I engage in national politics because it affects people I love.
Money has power. And so withholding money has power too, especially when a bunch of people do it together.