Ancient words ever true Changing me, and changing you. We have come with open hearts Oh let the ancient words impart. –Michael W. Smith Reflect & Practice: Spend 10 minutes each day this week reading from a different book in the Bible. With each reading ask yourself: Are these words poetry or prose? Are they directions from a manual or symbols from a metaphor? Are they literal or figurative? How does your answer to these questions affect the meaning of the passage? Reflect: It’s easy to say the Bible is God’s Word.......
“Count your blessings” “A blessing in disguise” “Bless you” (after you have sneezed) “Bless your heart” These are just a few of the ways we use the word bless or blessing in our everyday conversations. I have a minister friend that served as a mentor to me in high school. Jokingly, he shared a piece of advice with me one day that I will never forget. He reminded me that in the south we have overused the phrase “Bless your heart” . We have sometimes gotten in a habit of saying it or sometimes we......
The summer after third grade, my family rented a large van and drove across the country to California. Two stops that I can remember vividly were the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden City, California. I remember hearing a demonstration in both sanctuaries showing how far the sound would carry and how crystal clear the acoustics were. I was introduced to the majestic Morman Tabernacle choir. At the Crystal Cathedral, we saw the largest pipe organ I could imagine. We went to bookstore at the Crystal Cathedral and my family purchased several......
We are called to study and read scripture for ourselves. Rather than having tests of faith and creedal statements, we critically and thoughtfully study scripture, taking into account the history and background – the context – in which it was written. This statement is part of the identity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the group of churches with which our church is in a covenant relationship (sometimes called a denomination). In fact, most protestant churches were founded on similar statements believing that every person has the right and the ability to read, study......
“Right at the depth of the human condition, lies the longing for a presence, the silent desire for a communion. Let us never forget that this simple desire for God is already the beginning of faith.” The simple desire for God is an important step toward prayer that is practiced in the Taize community founded by Brother Roger, author of the above quote. The Taize community is a monastic order of brothers that exists in the small community of Taize, France. Brother Roger and his sister set up a safe haven for refugees......
From Aleph to Tav In Revelation, we hear the voice of God repeat “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. The image of God as Alpha and Omega is an image of completeness. With God things are made complete. This is an important image and theme throughout the Scriptures or Old and New, especially in the book of The Psalms. One of the poetic structures used in some of......
There is an unrest in our nation unlike any in my memory. That unrest has different effects on each of us. I found solace in the Isaiah’s text for this week. Today, I offer Isaiah’s prayer as a prayer for our nation. In my own words and interpretation, I pray the prayer of scripture… Holy One, we offer our cries to You! There is unrest in our land. There is a conflict between the leading of our conscience and the leading of Your Spirit. Lord, I plea that not only with words,......