Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ

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sojo.net: There’s A War On Christmas-Just Not The One You Think

httpFrom sojo.net:

…”It is not the cashier’s job to share the church’s story of God coming to the world. This story of the incarnation of God is my story to tell, the church’s story to tell, all of Christ’s followers story to tell. Christmas has the power to make a difference in the world today. Imagine what we could do if we chose this Christmas to share our love in ways that cannot be wrapped and placed under a tree. What if we took some of the money that we would have spent on each other and gave it to people who were in need — then Christmas could change the world.

So let’s call a metaphoric ‘cease fire’ and stop this so-called ‘war on Christmas.’  We have some work to do.”

Read the full article here:

http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/12/10/theres-war-christmas-just-not-one-you-think

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SOJO.net – Advent: What Are We Waiting For?

Here’s a great perspective on Advent from sojo.net:Light of the World Christian Stock Photos-medium

So much of our religion has become about waiting. Waiting for heaven. Waiting for God to respond to a prayer and to change something. Waiting for God to right the wrongs. Waiting for God to set things straight. Waiting and waiting and waiting.

What if we’ve got it backward? What if someone is waiting for us?

Soon we’ll celebrate the birthday of Jesus, who was passionate about the here and now. Give food and drink to whoever is hungry and thirsty today. Go and visit those who are imprisoned at this moment. Stop and help the person bleeding by the side of the road right now. Heal the person rather than waiting another day until the Sabbath is over to help them. Do this no matter what the cost.

Don’t wait. Do it now.

In his book The Power of Parable, John Dominic Crossan points out that Jesus was about what we do in the moment: “You have been waiting for God, he said, while God has been waiting for you. No wonder nothing is happening. You want God’s intervention, he said, while God wants your collaboration. God’s kingdom is here, but only insofar as you accept it, enter it, live it, and thereby establish it.”

God is waiting for us. God is at work right now. Are we ready to join in?

(Please read the full article here on sojo.net: http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/12/02/what-are-we-waiting)

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The Ninth Missioner-A Thanksgiving Story

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On a hot, humid day in mid-June 2013 a group of intrepid Episcopalian missioners from Michigan arrived in the Dominican Republic to continue the building of the San Simon church in San Marcos. An amazing discovery awaited one of the missioners….Full story here: http://dominicandevelopmentgroup.org/news/

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HuffPost: The Fandom of God Is Upon Us and It’s Killing the Church

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Here’s a link to a thought-provoking story on sympathy for each other rather than for the people around us who need our help: The Fandom of God Is Upon Us and It’s Killing the Church

And a short quote:

For those who are less than familiar with the term “fandom,” Wikipedia defines it as “a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.” And therein lays our problem. While the fandom of God is, likewise, characterized by people who share a feeling of sympathy with those who share similar beliefs but the kingdom of God is supposed to be characterized by people who share a feeling of sympathy for those who are hurt, are marginalized and are in need….

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The American Church’s Absence of Lament (Sojourners)

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Here’s a thoughtful story on an aspect our human life that might be under-represented American worship and faith.

http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/10/24/american-churchs-absence-lament/

The article quotes Walter Brueggeman

What happens when appreciation of the lament as a form of speech and faith is lost, as I think it is largely lost in contemporary usage? What happens when the speech forms that redress power distribution have been silenced and eliminated? The answer, I believe, is that a theological monopoly is reinforced, docility and submissiveness are engendered, and the outcome in terms of social practice is to reinforce and consolidate the political-economic monopoly of the status quo.

 

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Atlantic Monthly: Meaning Is More Important than Happiness

For discussion, from the Atlantic Monthly
By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves — by devoting our lives to “giving” rather than “taking” — we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness.
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/

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