Following Jesus is action oriented. It is more than mere belief. You can believe all the right things and still do all the wrong things. Jesus demands that we do both well. This Lent, I challenge us all to look for the disconnect between our belief and our actions.
Advent invites us into an annual tension-packed and frequently confusing tapestry of extremes. Waiting for light to overcome darkness. Being honest about our despair while placing our hope in the Trinity. Admitting our fears while searching for peace. Experiencing Christ-centered joy amid our griefs. Naming evil but choosing love.
Pastors and church staff are also employees in the workforce. They are not immune to the pressures and economic realities that face the rest of the hustle, burnout, and quietly quitting culture that surround them.
Honoring Martin Luther King’s leadership and faithful Christian example of peaceful resistance to oppression, violence, and inequality
Now is a good time to reflect again on King’s model for nonviolent protest to bring about peace and justice to a world still marred by injustice and violence. We should not only look for ways to name the evil in our world but look for paths toward redemption and reconciliation with others. And we must do these things in love for God and neighbor, or else we will be shaped by our hatred and fear of the other.
We celebrate holidays because they are a sign and a foretaste of a future realities marked by resurrection, love, and the New Heavens and the New Earth. But that leaves us needing to live into those future promises here and now. We can live lives of joy, tending to the small plants of hope planted during our holiday festivities. This is the work between celebrations: living into the realities of the present by nurturing lives and communities that bear fruit we will harvest, ferment, and drink in celebration the next time the holiday season comes round.