Life out of Destruction 

John 2:13-22        3.4.18

Baltimore was in the spotlight this week at the NEXT church national gathering downtown.  Musicians, preachers, and testimony-givers highlighted new ways of “doing and being church” that are happening right here in charm city.  Rev. Barchi led us in a responsive cadence at various points in her sermon on Tuesday night.  “The church is dying!”  She repeated again and again.  “Thanks be to God!”  She invited us to respond each time.  At first it was hard for me to say.  Thanks be to God, the church is dying?  Continue reading

Light Changes Life 

Mark 9:2-9/Psalm 50: 1-6            2.11.18

I was struck by the amazing feast for the eyes during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.  The Olympic opening ceremonies are certainly not your run of the mill celebration, and this was no exception.  The use of light was almost supernatural, especially the use of a flock of drones which lit up into the form of a person and then dissolved into the night sky, only to be reshaped again.  But perhaps the best glimpse of something out of the ordinary was the union of athletes from North and South Korea walking into the stadium together under the same flag, a nation split for more than 60 years.  It was a shimmering sign of hope in a divided world.

Most of the time we live our lives behind what scholar NT Wright calls “the veil of ordinariness”—that which normally keeps us from seeing what is really inside a person, a situation, an event.  We are human beings, after all, and we can only look at the world around us with human eyes and human understanding.  Continue reading