Category: Easter

A Perfect Cocktail of Disgusting Lies!: Matthew Distefano’s “Heretic!”

Attending a Conservative Christian university while visiting about hundred urban churches and growing up in the conservative Midwest, I have been well acquainted with the dominant manifestations of North American Evangelical Christianity. I have found it wanting.
My relationship with it still exists, largely due to my introvert personality and general lack of verbally sharing what I truly believe with my conservative peers which make up a significant portion of my circle. One must pick their battles.
That said, Matthew Distefano’s newest book, Heretic! An LGBTQ-Affirming, Diving-Violence Denying, Christian Universalist’s Response to Some of Evangelical Christianity’s Most Pressing Concerns, resonates with me, as I believe it does an ever-increasing number of, for lack of better term, Post-Evangelicals. As the mouthful-of-a-title makes clear, it tackles some of the most heated topics among Evangelical Christians in the North American context with some tongue-in-cheek humor and signature Distefano wit to boot. Also, take the Parental Advisory warning seriously – Distefano uses some, ahem, colorful language.
Now, if you’re an Evangelical Christian, you may be thinking, “Universalism?? LGBTQ?? God as totally and wholistically nonviolent? Are you on pot? (A topic which Distefano has covered elsewhere) Of course he’s a heretic!” Except you’d be wrong, at least according to Christian tradition. Distefano still adheres to the Apostolic and Nicene Creeds (which were largely influenced by theologians who believe a variety of things that Distefano proposes in his book). The term heretic, historically, is less referring to what someone believes within the Christian tradition, and more about being divisive – someone who tears a community apart, often intentionally so.
For example, when an Evangelical church shuns a practicing homosexual – that congregation is being heretical, according to historical definition. When churches separate over minute doctrinal differences such as full or partial immersive baptism. Protestantism is about the most heretical manifestation of Christianity in the 2,000 year history of the religion – it just can’t agree on anything.
What Distefano shares with us in his new book, out April 1, is not heretical – it is, on the contrary, welcoming. Welcoming to those Evangelical Christianity has often shunned: those who refuse to believe that God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ is an abusive father who wants to torment 99% of the human population forever, to those who don’t maintain heterosexual relations or feelings, to those who believe violence is a never-ending self-perpetuating cycle. It seeks to cultivate community, not divide it. As far as I can tell, Distefano is even inviting those whom disagree with him to participate – if they can do so without themselves being divisive.
If you’re interested, Distefano’s book officially releases April 1, 2018. For the entire month of April, the Kindle edition will be 99 cents and all proceeds will go to the Preemptive Love Coalition. Check it out!
Distefano was kind enough to send a signed copy of Heretic! to me himself. Of course, I gave a donation to him in return. Being a shunned theologian certainly does not pay the bills very well!
Visit Matthew Distefano’s website!


Syndicated from Interdependently Independent


Resurrection People

Another Way for week of March 30, 2018 Resurrection People It seems like my husband and I have been going to a lot of funerals or memorial services lately, for people we have known and loved. I’m thinking about all these friends as we come to this beautiful and life-affirming Easter season. We are Easter […]
Syndicated from findingharmonyblog

Easter Power

Although I listed many of the events in the Christian calendar in the Psalms reading schedule, I did not make any attempt to coordinate them with particular psalms. During this past week I had the thought that I should have tried harder to do this. What does Easter, the height of the Christian calendar, have to do with a wisdom psalm which we focused on during the latter part of Lent and the first weeks of the Easter season?
Today, a phrase from our reading in Psalm 37 struck me as appropriate for a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus: “The power of wickedness shall be broken” [v.17a]. Indeed, Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection three days later has broken the power of wickedness. The principalities and powers that nailed Jesus to the cross were defeated by the sacrifice of love and the power of the resurrection. The myth of redemptive violence that has ruled much of human history was proven to be a foolish fraud by the cross and the resurrection. The resurrection—indeed, the entirety of the Gospel story of Jesus—teaches us that the greatest power in the universe is not death and destruction or the fear of it; it is the power of love and life.
Yes, when I hear the rhetoric from leaders of the world these days I am often overwhelmed and depressed by the power of wickedness in our world. But today the line in this psalm and the events of Easter remind me that this power has been broken. “Walking in the resurrection” is sometimes still a struggle and a long and winding road. But today I have hope that God’s steadfast love will uphold us.

Syndicated from gareth brandt

A Poem for Holy Week

“Good Friday” by Christina Rossetti speaks to me this Holy Week. Written in 1862 and now in the public domain, this poem is a devotional, self-reflective piece. “Am I a stone?” she asks–and I think of the heart of stone turned hard by compassion fatigue and so unmoved by suffering. “Am I a sheep,” I … Continue reading A Poem for Holy Week
Syndicated from April Yamasaki

Podcast: Should We Expose Santa and the Easter Bunny as Frauds to Our Kids?

Greg pulls back the curtain on holiday fraud in this disenchanting roller coaster of an episode.
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The post Podcast: Should We Expose Santa and the Easter Bunny as Frauds to Our Kids? appeared first on Greg Boyd - ReKnew.

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Historical Reasons for the Resurrection?

This past Sunday I did something that I had never done before as a Pastor. I preached on the historical reasons for the resurrection. It was not an easy sermon to prepare. There is a lot of material to cover in such a short time. I found myself a bit apprehensive to give a list of reasons why one might believe in the resurrection. (You can listen to that sermon above in the video player) 

You may ask, "Why the apprehension?"

Certainly, that is a valid question. 

Why should any minister of the Gospel be apprehensive on sharing the historical case for the resurrection? I guess my apprehension could be narrowed to the fact that I did not want to build an entire case on reason alone. I think it's dangerous to base our faith on a post-enlightenment rationalism that declares, "I have empirically proven the answer, thus removing the need for faith."

 Jason Micheli captures my apprehension perfectly when he writes,
 "The Barthian in me bristles at the unexamined assumption that that which is ‘objective’ and true must be empirically verifiable, it’s nonetheless true that the same Barthian in me is allergic to rational apologetics."- 
And so all of this left me with an uneasy feeling about putting together a sermon that compiled a list of reasons for believing the resurrection. I was apprehensive about a "wooden rationalism" that called for undeniable verification. Thankfully, both Jason & N.T. Wright helped me provide a proper framing of where to put these arguments for the resurrection. 

Jason Micheili cleverly asserts this dialectical statement:
To say the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical verification is true, for we believe God intervenes from beyond history to raise Jesus from beyond the grave. But to say the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical verification is not also to suggest that the resurrection of Christ is beyond historical plausibility, for we believe God intervenes to raise Jesus from the grave within history. In fact... I do think the resurrection is the best- or at least a compelling- historical explanation for the resurrection of Jesus.
N.T. Wright, in his popular book Surprised By Hope, (and elsewhere) spends endless chapters laying out the historical case for the plausibility of the resurrection. Yet, after tirelessly laying out his through argument, Wright explains to his readers exactly where these rationalistic based arguments belong for followers of Jesus. He writes, 
"[T]hough the historical arguments for Jesus’s bodily resurrection are truly strong, we must never suppose that they will do more than bring people to the questions faced by Thomas, Paul, and Peter, the questions of faith, hope, and love. We cannot use a supposedly objective historical epistemology as the ultimate ground for the truth of Easter. To do so would be like lighting a candle to see whether the sun had risen. What the candles of historical scholarship will do is to show that the room has been disturbed, that it doesn’t look like it did last night, and that would-be normal explanations for this won’t do. Maybe, we think after the historical arguments have done their work, maybe morning has come and the world has woken up. But to investigate whether this is so, we must take the risk and open the curtains to the rising sun. When we do so, we won’t rely on the candles anymore, not because we don’t believe in evidence and argument but because they will have been overtaken by the larger reality from which they borrow, to which they point, and in which they will find a new and larger home. All knowing is a gift from God, historical and scientific knowing no less than that of faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love."- N.T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, pg. 74
So this is all to say, that while I find the various reasons for the resurrection compelling, I must always recognize that these reasons alone cannot form the basis of faith and trust in the resurrection. I must go deeper from reason to hope, faith, and love. 
Syndicated from As above, so below

Second Sunday of Easter: The Epistle Passage – After Resurrection Lessons

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:3 – 5)

Writers are often told “Write what you feel” and I have tried to follow that advice. Time and time again I have written what I felt, how I responded, and what thoughts/feelings scripture has invoked in me. And what I feel from this is the apostle Peter writing fervently to his readers about what he has experienced – everything he experienced as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ when the Messiah walked the earth.

There was this pivotal moment when Jesus the man the disciples listened to and lived with for three years changed into the risen Lord who ascended into heave to become again One with the Almighty Lord God. And in that moment, the man who was their friend and teacher turned into the Divine that is in Heaven – large capital “H”.

“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith–being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (Verses 6 – 9)

“ . . . .even though you do not see him now, you believe in him . . . “ This sounds so much like the lesson learned when Jesus appeared to the disciples and especially to Thomas. Peter saw Jesus, yet when pressured he said he knew Jesus not. A hard lesson learned there, but a lesson that taught Peter something about holding tight to believe. And Peter passes on that lesson to his readers. As we move through the season that comes after Easter Sunday, may we learn and retain the lessons that we have learned. Selah!

Filed under: Revised Common Lectionary Year A 2017 Tagged: Apostle Peter, Epistles Passage, Revised Common Lectionary, Second Sunday of Easter
Syndicated from a simple desire

Second Sunday of Easter: The Psalm Passage – Moving forward from Easter Day

“Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:1 – 3)

Because I write a week ahead, I am actually writing this Easter day. And I confess, thoughts of Easter are swirling through my head. It is a nice swirling, but it makes it challenging to move forward in my thinking. The RCL seems to do the same, staying in the Easter mood for six Sundays until the ascension of the Lord is celebrated. It is interesting to consider psalms passage with the comforting awareness that we are praying to and petitioning a Lord who is rife with the power of the Resurrection.

“Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.” (Verses 4 – 6)

In fact, most everything is better considered and offered up to a Risen Lord. I am also listening to music as I write – Christian contemporary music as it is my “go-to” type of music – and it seems sweeter to my ears as I am aware it is about a Risen Lord. Indeed, following other purposes and agendas on such a day as Easter day seems the height of foolishness. I am enjoying my “goodly heritage” and Godly choices.

“I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.” (Verses 7 – 9)

But what about you, beloved reader? How are you this day? When you read this it will not be Easter day, but a week after – minus a day since this will be set to post on Saturday. Is Easter still in your heart? Or have you moved on? Considering your life in light of Christ’s sacrifice and gift of life eternal to us? Or to “other purposes and agendas”? How long can we and do we carry the message of Easter? For us is it six weeks and then no longer a relevant fact and event? On a day such as this, it seems hard to imagine.

“For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Verses 10 – 11)

The Lord God who gave us Jesus Christ the Messiah does not forget us, or move away from love for us, giving and caring for us. How then could we? Easter may came only once a year, but the lessons of Easter and the sweet sense of the Divine’s compassion is year long. Let us life that way, beloved reader! Selah!

Filed under: Revised Common Lectionary Year A 2017 Tagged: Character of Jesus Christ, Christian Journey, Christian Life, Discipleship, Easter, Nature of Jesus Christ, Psalm Passage, Reign of God, Revised Common Lectionary, Second Sunday of Easter, Spirituality, Wisdom
Syndicated from a simple desire

Cross My Heart

“I have a complaint to make.” The comment was made by a member of our church who periodically drops in on me Tuesday mornings. The twinkle in his eye and the grin on his face signaled that this “complaint” was more of an observation or a conversation starter than an actual grievance. “We must have been the most “crossed” church around on Easter Sunday morning,” he said. “I counted at least four!” I thought back to our service and found that I couldn’t disagree.
In the grand scheme of things, our worship space tends toward a rather spare aesthetic. We have seasonal banners and various visuals that adorn the table in front of the pulpit. But compared to some of our high church brethren, there’s not much to catch the eye many Sundays. Easter Sunday was different, though. We had white ribbons emanating out from the cross permanently affixed to the wall behind the pulpit. We had an Easter banner with cross emblazoned with colour and light along with another banner with a smaller cross alongside a dove. There’s the glass windows in the shape of the cross on the side wall. And then there was crude wooden cross that we used in our Maundy Thursday service at the front. As part of our Easter service each year, we all come forward and filled the cross with flowers. So, yes, there were crosses.
I’ve been thinking about crosses today. We Christians make an awful lot out of what is on the face of it a rather unimaginative shape (two intersecting lines, a lowercase letter “t”) at best or a reminder of a primitive and gruesome mode of torture (at worst). But we love our crosses. I love my crosses. At least I sure seem to, if the quick survey of my immediate surroundings that I performed is to be believed.
Hanging from the mirror in my car is a rosary that I bought last year in a bustling Old Jerusalem marketplace.
On the walls and shelves of my study, there is:

a small metal cross hanging on one wall that my wife picked up for me in a German church a few years ago
a handmade cross given as a gift from a church member sitting on one bookcase
a cross my daughter made out on a discarded 2×6 out of some nails and yarn one afternoon adorning the top of a filing cabinet
a metal cross extending out of a dove fashioned out of nails perched atop another bookcase
a bunch of drawings of crosses my daughter has done over the years as she attempts to endure her father’s sermons

Around my neck is another rosary, this one a wooden Orthodox version given to me by a young Syrian friend after their arrival in Canada last year.
On one side of my desk is a beautiful prayer rope that a good friend recently made me with a Celtic cross at the end of it. In the center, a chi and ro, the two Greek letters that historically symbolize Christ the King, surrounded by human figures joining hands in community.
Off to the other side, a tattered copy of a bulletin from a Good Friday service I attended at an Anglican church last week. On the cover, a cross, on the cross hangs skeletal Jesus, ribs protruding, face turned down in anguish, nails driven through groaning flesh.
Everywhere I turn, crosses.
It’s a strange thing, when you think about it, this Christian fascination with adorning our bodies and our spaces with what was an instrument of execution. It speaks to the salvific weight we attach to said instrument, of course, even though, strictly speaking, it would be more theologically accurate to attend to the empty tomb. The Apostle Paul did mention something about how if Christ is not raised from the dead we’re still in our sins and rather to be pitied for imagining otherwise. That’s actually the point of Easter. It’s the empty tomb, not the cross, that does the most theological work. But I suppose empty tombs are kind of unwieldy to wear around your neck, and they probably don’t make for very impressive tattoos.
Paul also talked once about how we “always carry around in our body the death of Jesus.” He was talking about persecution, not interior decorating or body art, of course, but it’s an interesting turn of phrase. We always carry around the death of Jesus. I thought of the phrase as I looked at dying Jesus dangling off my car mirror this morning, as I fingered the Syrian rosary around my neck, as my hands ran over the prayer rope my friend made me. I wonder if, on some level, we carry Jesus’ death around with us as a simple reminder of the price of peace and the cost of reconciliation. A God who would love us to his end is a shatteringly beautiful thing, and we can’t take our eyes off these physical tokens of it.
Perhaps we also carry Jesus’ death around with us as a reminder that death waits for us, too. T.S. Eliot once said that human beings cannot bear too much reality, so we flee from it. Yes, we do. Perhaps now, more than ever, in these comfortable, trivial, endlessly distractible and antiseptic times. But die we must, and die we will. And no matter how desperate we are to avoid this truth, there is something deep within us that hungers for a hope that our death, like the death of the one that all our crosses speak of, is not the end.
The very fact that we love our crosses so much—that we have taken a crude symbol proclaiming a horrifyingly brutal reality, and refashioned it as art—is, in the end, only possible because God has done the same: taken something ugly and turned it toward beauty.
The image above is called Body of Christ by Linda Witte Henke, and is taken from the 2016-17 Christian Seasons Calendar 

Syndicated from Rumblings

Shock and Awe

Last week I was hunting around for some music to listen to while preparing my Sunday Easter sermon. It was Holy week, so I thought I should try to find something a bit more inspirational than my usual fare. Perhaps some classical music. I don’t typically listen to classical music and know next to nothing about it. But, as I said, it was Holy Week. Mumford and Sons or The Lumineers didn’t really seem up to the task. Also, I thought that listening to classical music would have the happy effect of making me seem a bit more culturally sophisticated than I in fact am.
I went to CBC Music’s website and surveyed my options. I was presented with two Easter choices for Holy Week. How delightful! I read the description of each:

Classical Easter: Music for Reflection — Enhance your spiritual journey, reflect on life, meditate with a peaceful mind. Let some of history’s greatest classical works sooth you.
Easter Classical: Music for Celebration — Fill your heart with a joyous aural celebration. The musical expression of sun breaking through clouds, flowers arriving in spring, and fireworks lighting up the night.

I started to experience a few cynical rumblings in my jaded soul.
I halfheartedly clicked on the first one. I listened for about four minutes before, I must confess, I gave up, my spiritual journey not feeling particularly enhanced, my heart not filled with anything resembling a joyous aural celebration. I am, apparently, not cut out for classical music. But it wasn’t just my lack of cultural sophistication that led to my lukewarm appreciation of the musical fare.
It was those descriptions. I couldn’t get past those descriptions. It seemed to me that these descriptions are a depressingly accurate barometer of how many people in our day think about Easter.
Outside the church, this is obviously true. We live in a secular age that retains only the wispiest strands of incoherent Christian residue. But I think it’s true inside the church, too. There are many Christians who approach Easter thinking roughly in these terms. It’s a pleasant enhancement to our spiritual journey. Or an opportunity to meditate. It gives us peace of mind. It’s a nice metaphor for new life and flowers and sunshine and the possibilities of springtime.
We often hear poetic language about how Jesus was raised “in the hearts of his disciples” but we really shouldn’t take these things so literally. The resurrection has become part of the furniture of religion, something we either reduce to an inoffensive springtime metaphor or consign to the dusty attic of our faith, tucked away, no longer able to astonish us as it ought to.
I have nothing against springtime or peace of mind or meditation or flowers. I can even (barely) tolerate language about “enhancing our spiritual journey.” But these things are manifestly not what Easter is about.
Easter is about the jaw dropping, reality altering, terrifying, bewildering, disrupting, disorienting, shattering shock of the resurrection of the crucified Son of God.
There is very little that is peaceful or soothing about the story of this week, whether the events that led up to Easter or the story of the resurrection itself! This was driven home for me again as I went through the events of Holy Week.
At our church’s Maundy Thursday service, we read through the old story of the washing of feet and the sharing of a meal, of betrayal and inevitable violence. We extinguished candles and watched as the light of the world was gradually snuffed out. We took bread and juice and reminded ourselves of the price of peace. We located our “spiritual journeys” in a story of betrayal and confusion and dismay.
Because our church doesn’t have a Good Friday service, I trudged off to worship in an Anglican church on Friday morning. At one point in the service, we were going through the gospel of John’s narration of Jesus’ “trial” and crucifixion. There was a narrator; there was Jesus; there was Pilate. And then there was a role for the congregation to play, as well.
We were instructed to stand up and assume the part of the “people” in the story. And so we would periodically have to yell out things like, “Away with him!” and “We have no king but Caesar!” and “We have a law and according to our law he must die!” and, of course, “Crucify him!”
It was painful to say these things out loud. I felt a heavy sadness as the words came from my lips. Of course it was supposed to be painful and it was supposed to be sad. We were reminded that it wasn’t just “those people back then” that nailed Jesus to the cross but us.
We heard the famous reading from Isaiah 53, which described the “servant of God” in terms that at times made me feel like weeping.

We were appalled at him
His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him
He was despised and rejected… a man of suffering, and familiar with pain… Like one from whom people hide their faces
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
He was cut off from the land of the living though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth
It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer

I left the service feeling anything but soothed or enhanced. I felt kind of numb.
As human beings, we threw our absolute worst at God, and God took it. And responded with Easter.
And then on Easter Sunday, we encounter Matthew’s account of the surprise of resurrection. There is nothing particularly tranquil or spiritually enhancing or flowery about this text either! If we read things at face value, it’s a violently disruptive and disorienting scene! In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ death and resurrection (and his alone), there are earthquakes both when Jesus dies and when the stone is rolled away revealing an empty tomb. The cross and empty tomb shook the foundations of the world. It was like worlds were colliding.
Law… and grace.
Justice… and mercy.
Betrayal… and forgiveness.
Humanity… and divinity.
Evil… and good.
Violence… and peace.
Misplaced expectations… and the shocking fulfillment of God’s promises.
Despair… and hope.
Sorrow… and joy.
Death… and life.
It was like tectonic plates were shifting and colliding when Jesus breathed his last and gave up his spirit on a Roman cross, and when, three days later, the two Marys encountered an empty tomb.
Fear, confusion, convulsion, dislocation, disorientation, shock, surprise, and, of course, unexpected and outrageous and uncontainable joy! This is what Easter is about.
If we zero down to the human level of Matthew’s story, we don’t see a lot of soothing tranquility there either. The guards shook and became “like dead men” at the sight of the angel at the tomb. Two times, the angel says: “do not be afraid”—the implication being that fear is probably the most natural response to the idea that the man whose body you had witnessed wracked with pain, nails ripped through his flesh, heaving and groaning on a Roman cross three days prior was now alive!
It wasn’t a “spiritual journey” but a very physical one that had the first witnesses terrified and confused.
And even after hearing the glorious news that Jesus was alive, it says that the two Marys left the empty tomb with “fear and great joy.” Jesus himself says to them: Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid… But they couldn’t help it! Resurrection is a fearfully joyous and joyfully fearful thing.
So, from the confused expectations of Palm Sunday to the betrayal and injustice of Maundy Thursday to the anguish and horror of Good Friday to the stunned, fearful surprise of Easter Sunday, we must acknowledge that as Christians, the story we tell is a thoroughly jarring one, at very turn.
The church of Jesus Christ was literally shocked into existence. Easter was the utterly unexpected finale to a week of violence and horror. Easter was God’s vindication of the one upon whom we could barely stand to look, the one who had no beauty that should attract us to him, the one that was ground under the wheels of religious zeal and political expediency, the one that we preferred to crucify rather than follow.
Everything about who Jesus was—what he taught, how he healed and forgave and judged and restored, every false path and temptation to violence that he refused, and of course the way he suffered unto death—all of this receives a loud and decisive and holy “amen” on Easter Sunday.
We are a long, long way from Easter being about metaphors for the organic life of spring and peace and tranquility and soothing sounds and enhanced spiritual journeys.
Easter Sunday should be the culmination of a story where we have been shocked into silence at how horribly earth received her King, and stunned into joyful worship at the lengths God has gone to reconcile us to himself.
The above is an excerpt of a sermon preached at Lethbridge Mennonite Church, Easter Sunday, 2017.

Syndicated from Rumblings

We Tell the Truth

This post is excerpted from a sermon on Matthew 28:1-15, preached at Peace Mennonite Church on April 16, 2017. When we talk about witnesses to the resurrection, we almost always—and only—talk about the women. The faithful women were the ones who heard the angel message, saw the empty tomb, and went to tell people …
Syndicated from Spacious Faith

Modern Crucifixion

The introduction to my post turned into a spontaneous poem of my own and in the process I forgot to post the poem that appeared in the guidebook as an introduction to the dramatic tableaux written by my son Adriel Brandt.

I like pictures of empty crosses,

because then I can hoist myself up

into His place

to look down on everyone.

Remember though,

that we are the Romans:

the white, the wealthy,

the employed, the male,

the heterosexual, the cisgendered,

the Christian, the Western:

we are, all of us, the Romans,

and if we learn to look


we might see Jesus.

Syndicated from gareth brandt


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