I’m a soul and I like cake.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, to be sure, in the news here and abroad.
So, poverty is in the news here in South Dakota.
Tuesday, post Holy Week.
So tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, many–not all, but many–people in the Christian Church mark the beginning of Lent.
(This blog is an adaptation of a recent presentation I gave at the Sawmill Retreat Center in Huron, OH, for a clergy and rostered leaders’ event for two combined ELCA synods. The theme of our days together was that of discipleship).
This blog is a posted version of the sermon I preached this morning at Springdale Lutheran, and in light of the events in Colorado, and in light of the day-to-day lives of so many suffering sisters and brothers in the world.
John Westerhoff wrote:
“Stewardship is what we do after we say we believe, that is, after we give our love, loyalty, and trust to God, from whom each and every aspect of our lives comes as a gift. As members of God’ s household, we are subject to God’ s economy or stewardship, that is, God’ s plan to reconcile the whole world and bring creation to its proper end.” (Grateful and Generous Hearts, Atlanta: St. Luke’s Press, 1997, p. 20.)
I know that I’ve blogged about Westerhoff’s words before.
We just returned from two weeks Florida, the children and I.
I was brought up being told that God is everywhere, and all powerful, that those who seek shall find, and that it is quite possible to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, while fearing no evil.
In my dining room hangs a framed and matted lithograph by William Benson, a now-retired art professor at the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire).
So if I’m going to make the case that faith has relevance, I might as well throw myself into the Wisconsin fray, which has an awful lot in common with the Ohio fray, and is symptomatic of lots of frays both present and impending.
Monday morning I had a fortunate exchange with a friend of mine. When we run into each other, which happily occurs a lot, we immediately move beyond the weather and get into the grit of life.
I remain unable to let go of the irritation I feel at myself that I did not think of the name of this strange venture of mine, namely OMG: Center for Theological Conversation.
That’s a provocative observation from theologian Sallie McFague.
So, we have not delved into the etymological well for some time, being busy with lots of good reader comments to the blog and questions! Thanks for those, and more are always welcome!
Question: A thought I gleaned from someone else: Remember for a moment the prophets, critiquing Israel’s priests: it’s not animals and blood upon the altar that God desires, it’s a broken and contrite heart, righteousness in our hearts and in our relationships. (Gross oversimplification, I know – but I think mostly accurate.) Fast-forward to Paul, who often interprets Christ’s death and resurrection in terms of God’s demand for some sort of satisfaction for our sins. Hence, our ideas about substitutionary atonement, with lots of emphasis on Jesus blood as payment for our sins. Question: Does this move that Paul makes make it a little harder for Christians to hear the call of those prophets, and God’s desire for hearts broken by injustice and cruelty? From the perspective of one who has a tough time ‘sticking’ to substitutionary atonement, I’d be curious to hear your reflections on other ways to interpret the meaning of the cross. (That’s your field, right?)
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