Monday, May 16, 2016

Wild Boar Hunt

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

Beautiful, wonderful, generative, gratuitous and abundant is the life that the Trinity breathes into the world. He is utterly giving and blessing, full of hope for the world and providing for its flourishing. John says through the Spirit the life of the Trinity is given to us. And yet I am reminded of how seldom I live and lead out of this kind of self-giving abundance.

Just got off the phone with a friend who is caught in "church politics," both disappointed by the decisions of his church and responsible to represent them. I am reminded of how often church has been a let-down. We are so addicted to our own piety; we pass blame to others, "spiritualize" situations to alleviate the weight of our responsibility for good leadership, and ignore real needs and issues in order to

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Problem with Diversity

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148:1-14
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

Over the last decade or so, colleges and universities have been diversifying their student body though affirmative action. My seminary has been doing this as well. In a seminary known for its "Dutch whiteness" I now join in learning with my black and hispanic peers. The psalm for this week celebrates this kind of progress. So does Peter in Acts, embracing his new gentile brothers and sisters.

I've also noticed something else. The introduction of diversity into student bodies has caused an upheaval in administration. They would have preferred that the new influx of diverse students would

Monday, April 4, 2016

He Lost Everything

Acts 9:1-6
Psalm 30
Revelation 5:11-14
John 21:1-19

I can't get my neighbor's story out of my head. I saw him across our driveway as we pulled in. My daughter was sleeping in the back, safe and sound. Stepping out of the car, I asked him how he was. Six foot four and not less than three hundred pounds, he would be an intimidating presence if it weren't for his jolly countenance. But today his face was dark like a thunderstorm.

"Very bad. Bad, bad bad," he said with his thick Sudanese accent.

English is new for him since coming to the United States sixteen months ago with his wife and two kids. I love seeing the added color in the otherwise homogenous Grand Haven, MI, but for them it must be hard. She is Muslim and has nowhere to pray. With much help they have found employment and a way to get around on their own. The kids have been the stars of the neighborhood. Out of their dark chocolate faces their pearly smiles would welcome us as we drove down the street. They would run to the car to say hello to my daughter and teach her to high-five. But all that was about to change.