Regardless of how we choose to observe Lent, it is primarily a season of focus. Whether we choose to abstain from a thing or a habit for this six weeks, or add a new dimension to our spiritual lives, or engage in some sort of weekly discipline, our goal is to focus on Jesus and the coming remembrance of his crucifixion and resurrection.
What is it about the Psalms that make them so universal to our spiritual experience? Why were they so important to the early Jews and the first Christians? And what do they still have to say to us--and for us--today?
Is unity really even possible? Is there a way to break down the walls we've built between us?
How many of us will tell the real story of Christmas this year? Not the one with the pastoral imagery of white-washed Nativities, but the one about the unlikely delivery of a child to an unwed couple in a filthy stable in a backwater town in a two-bit corner of the Roman empire?
This Sunday at New Wineskins, North Place's Wendy Williams will join us to introduce us to the facility's mission and vision and share how unconditional love is breaking through to transform the lives of new mothers and their children.
What might it look like for us to seek the best for our political opponents? How can we imagine prospering under leadership we so deeply disrespect?
Have we lost some of the significance of the ancient and holy rite of the Eucharist? Has it become little more than another ritual for us to march through occasionally, more out of obligation than for transformation?
Does God really want to grant us "enlarged territories" and pain-free lives? If so, what's the deal? And if not, why would Jabez even warrant recognition in the Holy Scriptures?
While this is certainly a familiar story--both within the church as well as within the culture--it bears some examination. At the heart of the story is the question of what it means to love our neighbors. But there are also questions about how to apply the original cultural/historical context to our present time, what truly loving our neighbor really looks like in a practical way, and how we move beyond theoretical love to active love.
Can faith communities play a role in reshaping culture away from violence as our default response? In essence, that's the heart of Jesus' kingdom announcement. That death and violence no longer reign. But can we actually live that life? And, if we can, what might it change?