“As we gather at God’s holy table, the table is not our table, not the church’s table, not the denomination’s table, but it is God’s table, and God’s inclusive hands extend a welcome to all.”
I return again and again to the power of ever-so-brief children’s sermons. They cannot eradicate generations of racism, hatred, and narrow-mindedness, but inch by inch they can influence attitudes and values for good.
Listening evaluatively is the mark of a thinking mind. After the wars of disinformation which we experienced in the past half decade, we must rethink how we listen and how we think. I crave evaluative listening skills for my grandchildren, for my neighbors and friends, for all who sit in the pews, for all who vote, and for all who watch, read, or listen to the news. But I cannot wish it for another until I engage in it myself. So, may I practice what I preach, and may all of us desire to grow in our skills as people who think critically and listen evaluatively.
The way of peace is controversial. To favor peace in practice goes against the culture, and the consequences are negative. It was for Jesus. He mentioned the good news of the gospel in his hometown community of faith, and they were filled with rage and ran him out of town (Luke 4:28-29). Likewise, those who stand against war might find themselves run out by their communities of faith.
Jesus, on his purple journey, faced injustice, unequal treatment, and unfairness. Yet his final few teachings remain the cornerstone of Christianity