Gangs are part of the landscape in most major urban areas. Why do young people join them? I have read of two significant factors, though there are probably more. One reason is for safety. In an insecure neighbourhood, a gang can provide a type of protection: “If you hurt me, ten other tough guys will take care of you.” If we are afraid, gang solidarity can comfort us.Read More
Modelling Conflict Resolution
Read Reflect I wish I could have been there at the so-called Jerusalem Council! I would have liked to hear just how they all interacted with the issues and each other. What Luke does tell us about the meeting can help churches in our day work through conflict. They took time to gather the facts. […]Read More grace, Holy Spirit, conflict resolution, grace-led life
Weep No More
Weeping is part of life, common to all of us. We shed tears when a loved one or friend passes away. We may cry when we take our youngest child to kindergarten on the first day of school. We feel sad when we say farewell to a close friend that we will not see again for some time. Weeping is often an appropriate response to the difficulties and separations we experience in life.Read More joy, understanding, tears
It often seems to me that Thomas has two strikes against him. First of all, he wasn’t actually with the other disciples when Jesus appears to them after his resurrection. Secondly, he wasn’t one to cover up his doubts. He spoke them out loud.
“Show me the evidence,” he says to his friends when they excitedly tell him they have seen Jesus, that their Lord was truly alive.Read More questions, doubt
A Singular Command
The urge to compare ourselves to others is rooted deeply in the human condition. It shows up in thoughts like these: If only I could speak as well as her…. I wish I could sing like him….Oh, to be so gifted at hospitality…or art…or writing. The list goes on.
In this seaside encounter, the resurrected Jesus goes immediately to the heart of the matter.Read More comparison, follow Jesus, lead others
A Timeless Story
Do you have stories about life with Jesus? I do. I have been following Jesus for more than 40 years. I have stories.
That’s why it makes sense to me when John ends his Gospel with the disclaimer that he has not said everything possible about Jesus; that he, as the biographer, has not set down every miracle, every conversation or every encounter with his subject.Read More story
Songs and a Sword
To keep an attentive audience it is easier to speak of joy than of judgment.
If a church introduced a new worship song based on the words of this psalm I expect the congregation would readily respond to the first half, singing praise to God and worshiping with lifted hands,Read More justice, praise, humility, double-edged sword