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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?
We love it when our New Wineskins friends do awesome things in the world. Tomeka Robinson, who was part of our charter group when we started meeting back in May 2014, certainly fills the bill. Now coaching debate at Hofstra University in New York, Tomeka spearheaded a forum back in September on Islamaphobia, seeking to raise the … Continue reading Nov. 27 Gathering: Google Hangout with Tomeka Robinson
Could Jesus be revealing something of his broader agenda in this relatively small gathering?
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?
Are we just trying to feed an irreparably broken model for what the church is and how it works? Or are there ways to redeem the church? To reinvent it for new generations of people who view the world through much different lenses than those who came before?
How do we know the Spirit is with us? How can we be sure that the Spirit is acting? Is it just a feeling, like a gut instinct that something other than ourselves is in control? Or is it something else altogether?
Seeing an equal person as an inferior object is an act of violence. Will we approach others with hearts at war, or hearts at peace?
Does the 21st Century American church read the bible through the lens of the heroes or the victims? How might our understanding of the world change if we chose the right perspective?