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Tag Archives: cross

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t say a word?’” He challenged. Read more.

Listening to the Church in the World

As part of the inauguration of the new President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an afternoon symposium was held called “Windows on the Church in the World.: A U.S. and Global Panel.” There were many things for us in the West to hear from the church around the world, but the following were my take-aways: 1. David Zac Niringiye, a bishop and teacher from Northern Uganda, spoke about the church, power, and the cross. He talked about standing up against corruption in Uganda, his arrest by the government, and the silence of the church. He shared about how many churches in Africa support corrupt dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in exchange for access to power and perks like free land. He challenged us, “You want to talk about our dictators in Africa. We want to ask you, ‘What about your President Bush who went to war in Iraq on false pretenses and you didn’t. Read more.

Good Friday/Holy Saturday: Following Jesus into the Darkness

We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death.  After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter. Read more.

Learning to Lament – Newtown, CT

The painful images of the funerals of the children from Sandy Hook elementary school is an invitation from God for us to learn to lament. David not only sang this lamentation; he ordered the people to learn it, memorize it and inhabit it as their experience. After the terrible, tragic deaths of Saul and Jonathan, we read: David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow: “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.  How the mighty have fallen!…Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon….O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul …How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. 2 Samuel 1:17-20; 24-25 Eugene Peterson says it well: “Pain isn’t the worst thing… Death isn’t the worst thing. The worst thing is failing to deal with. Read more.

Resurrection Without Crucifixion

I believe the central message of Christianity remains Good Friday, Easter, the Ascension and Pentecost.  Death is God’s way to transformation and new life. I know it intellectually and dislike very much how it lives! My journey with Christ into what we now call “emotionally healthy spirituality” has three distinct, but overlapping, phases to it: 1994-96 – Emotional health and Spiritual maturity inseparable 2003-04  Contemplative spirituality integration 2007-08  Personal integrity/Differentiation.  I don’t really understand this one very well since I am only now in its beginning, but I do know that it has involved, for me thus far, really grasping the crucifixion and death.  As Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernal of truth falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (Jn. 12:24).  Jesus is telling it like it is. If the seed does not die, there will be no fruit or grain.. Read more.