Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Homeless Church: What does it mean to be a Christian during the 2016 presidential elections?

"Jeremiah, the prophet” my pastor Mark Davis said, during a recent sermon “in his letter to a people in exile, living among enemies, is using the language of the promised land. Despite captivity and exile, he advises them to build houses, plant gardens, marry your enemies, have babies, thrive, and pray for the city to which they’ve been exiled.” I perked up. He was preaching some of my favorite Bible verses. The sermon reminded me of the wonder of the homeless church.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Freedom from the Culture: Identity in Christ

As the long, hot days of summer come to an end and the election for our President draws to a close, I find myself remembering my summer of The Alhambra de Granada. Its Arabic name, Qa'lat al-Hamra, means Red Castle. Perhaps the reddish walls of the Alhambra reflect my mood this tempestuous electoral season, but it’s the past glory and harmony of the three different cultures which lived together upon which I find myself reflecting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Global citizens and universal aliens: Our citizenship is in heaven

Global citizens and universal aliensOur citizenship is in heaven
by Anita Coleman
One planet. 57.3 million miles of surface land. 7.4 billion people. 59.5 million refugees and displaced peoples, of whom 51 percent are under the age of 18.
Sheikh Yassir Fazaga was once one of those refugees. Forced to flee his home in Eritrea at the age of 15, today, he is a well-respected Muslim leader and a mental health counselor at Access California Services. AccessCal is a non-sectarian organization that provides human services to local Arab and Muslim Americans, immigrants, and refugees. Speaking about the plight of refugees, he has said (I will paraphrase):
Stories like mine are unusual. Many people in refugee camps are born there, and they die there. They become parents in the camp and grandparents too. The people who are able to leave the camps and re-integrate with mainstream society, often in a new country, as immigrants, asylum seekers, and citizens are far too few. To solve the refugee and other problems of the world our concern must be global, and our influence, local.
Fazaga’s story and words resonate with my own beliefs about how faith, my identity as an American citizen, and allegiance to Jesus intersect.

Monday, February 15, 2016

#SolidarityWithHumanity

In July 2015, the world’s population was 7.3 billion, and India became the second most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion, while the population of the United States was three million more than the 320 million Twitter users globally. The smiley emoji with tears became Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year, while the new word merkeling, named after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Time’s Person of the Year, has become synonymous with patience. From Baghdad, Beirut, Chennai, Lebanon, and Paris to Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson, and San Bernardino, there has been a lot to fear, but the top hashtags for 2015 on Twitter proclaim otherwise: #LoveWins #BlackLivesMatter #RefugeesWelcome #IStandWithAhmed #JeSuisCharlie #PrayForTheWorld #ChennaiRains. The Voice of America headlined it aptly: Justice and Joy Dominate 2015 Twitter Hashtags.

Friday, January 15, 2016

In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. "Loving Your Enemies"

Jan. 18, 2016 is Martin Luther King day. It seems appropriate to me, having had a 2015 of great solidarity* that closed with a dramatic and powerful God-with-us ADVENTure*** to begin 2016 with his sermon, "Loving your enemies." I am only posting a bit of it that I'm going to be reflecting on. You can find the complete sermon at the link given in the Source below.