Consuming Jesus

Consuming Jesus

Rituals like communion are meant to help us feel transformed by the love of God, but these images can be treacherous if we do not give ourselves and others space to comprehend their own meaning for this ritual. Magritte’s Pipe was a great example to us of how something we see as a functional thing, can feel and look like a treacherous example of the untrue. Things can look like vampires and cannibals instead of connection and love. This is why we cannot pretend there is some secret knowledge to understanding communion, but instead need to create safe communities for questions about the ritual and allow people to develop their own understanding of what it means. John is very much the surrealist gospel because of all the layers of meaning contained within. Continue reading

Are you here yet?

Are you here yet?

In the case of race our call is to not be defensive, but instead to be like God. To be like God and Christ we have to risk being vulnerable with one another. Being vulnerable like the Christ child who was born and the Jesus we know who walked among us. God through Christmas dared to meet people where they were. There is plenty of change that needs to happen and it requires us patiently seeing moments to share hope in the small moments of life. Sgt. Barnum and Devonte both chose a moment to do this. There will be moments in all of our lives to take part in simple acts like this. To share hope with each other we have to risk the encounter with each other. Continue reading

It’s In There

It’s In There

Perhaps we might be surprised when we open ourselves to the scriptures with an attitude of hope that God really does change the world through a gentle and firm presence in us, we will be surprised how the stories change us to work to bring that spirit of hope to our world. Continue reading

Actually Christlike – Pluralism and a Christian Faith

Actually Christlike – Pluralism and a Christian Faith

This weekend Diana Eck’s lecture crystalized for me that we cannot do good Christian ministry in our community without developing our sense of how Christian practice invites us to encounter those who worship and think differently than us. To learn how God invites us are to be hospitable to the stranger in this changing landscape as we work toward a better world alongside our neighbor.

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There are two lessons I have found in Christian faith that we must learn in order to help this generation discover how to best cross the river. Both of these will help us support encounters with people of diverse backgrounds in a peaceful and life giving way:

We need a deep understanding of our own Christian Faith.
Christian Faith should guide us to seek excellence in diversity. Continue reading

Dreams Change Lives

Dreams Change Lives

Helena United Methodist Ministry is two churches joining together to Multiply Ministry and Maximize Impact for Good. It is United Methodists in Helena saying we are dream together to feed the hungry, heal the sick, comfort the afflicted, bring peace to conflict, and to dream with God. We are going to learn to live a disciple’s path, to walk with Christ to share God’s love in the world. Dreaming with God changes lives because God works with anyone, big or small, young or old and everywhere in-between to bring God’s saving grace to the world. So instead of throwing our dreams into a hole let’s do what one of my favorite poets says, let’s say yes to God’s dream of a better world and yes “To handles on pillows so you can hold on to your dreams.”[i] Continue reading

Steps of Nextness

Steps of Nextness

Black can be a color for celebration

Worship is rarely the end

Punctuation to lives of the endless rotation

Clouds cruising the sky watching us make the next step

Each step is effort

Climbing the mountain of expectations

Realizing God was waiting at the bottom for us all along

“God is with us”

ALL OF US
Continue reading

Confused Mess-age

Confused Mess-age

“A kindergarten teacher gave her class a “show and tell” assignment.  Each student was instructed to bring in an object that represented their religion to share with the class. The first student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is a Star of … Continue reading

Which Way?

Religious billboards, the ones we see around today, really don’t help my blood pressure. Most of them seem to carry an ultimatum on them. “Follow Jesus or spend eternity somewhere you don’t want to.” “Ignoring Jesus? Well he died for you.” The guilt flows from these billboards like a flooding river in spring. One billboard I drive by consistently reads, “Do you have any idea where you are going? –God.” One practice I have taken to is answering “no” to its question every time I pass. Continue reading