Walking Together in Faith
Reflections, thoughts, ideas on life, ministry, and the church
I retired from active ministry in December of 2020 and now devote my time to writing and serving the church however I am needed. More about my ministry in the About tab on the menu.
My travels on behalf of the church have taken me to Africa, Central America, and Europe. Our church has relationships with companion synods in these countries. Thus, we sense God’s call to partner with God’s people everywhere to carry out God’s mission for the sake of the gospel.
As people of faith, we are called to be a reflection of God’s love as Christ modeled for us and for all humankind. There will be times that opinions differ. It is in those moments of discord that we look to the cross, which reminds us that we are reconciled to Christ so that we may be reconciled to each other.
Let the bells be silenced
Let the gifts be stillborn
Let cheer be muted
Let music be soundless
Violence stalks the land:
Soaring above the cry of the dying
Rising above the whimper of the starving
Floating above the flying machines of death
Listen to the long stillness:
New life is stirring
New dreams are on the wing
New hopes are being readied:
Mankind is fashioning a new heart
Mankind is forging a new mind
God is at work.
This is the Season of Promise
“This is the Season of Promise”
The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations
Jesus was born in a particular place at a particular time. He was born under Emperor Octavius, who had himself named Augustus when he reached the pinnacle of power; when Quirinius was governor of Syria; during the reign of Herod, who was traitor to his people and had sold out to the occupying power. It was during this time that Jesus as born, a man of no importance in the eyes of the cynical and arrogant authorities as well as in the eyes of those who disguised cowardice as peace and political realism.
It is often said at Christmas that Jesus is born into every family and every heart. But these “births” must not make us forget that primordial, massive fact that Jesus was born of Mary among a people that at the time were dominated by the greatest empire of the age. If we forget that fact, the birth of Jesus becomes an abstraction, a symbol, a cypher. Apart from its historical coordinates the event loses its meaning. To the eyes of Christians the incarnation is the irruption of God into human history: an incarnation into littleness and service in the midst of overbearing power exercised by the mighty of this world; an irruption that smells of the stable.
Christian faith is a historical faith. God is revealed in Jesus Christ and, through him, in human history and in the least important and poorest sector of those who make it up. Only with this as a starting point is it possible to believe in God. Believers cannot go aside into a kind of dead-end corner of history and watch it go by. It is in the concrete setting and circumstances of our lives that we must learn to believe: under oppression and repression but also amid the struggles and hopes that are alive in present-day Latin America; under dictatorships that sow death among the poor, and under the “democracies” that often deal unjustly with their needs and dreams.
The God of Life
God sends his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. God sends his Son – here lies the only remedy. It is not enough to give man a new philosophy or a better religion. A Man comes to men. Every man bears an image. His body and life become visible. A man is not a bare word, a thought, or a will. He is above all and always a man, a form, an image, a brother. And thus he does not create around him just a new way of thought, will and action, but he gives us the new image, the new form. Now in Jesus Christ this is just what has happened.
The Cost of Discipleship