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.
In the Eucharist, we celebrate the cross and the resurrection of Christ, his Passover from death to life, and our passing from sin to grace. In the gospel the Last Supper is presented against the background of the Jewish Passover, which celebrated the liberation from Egypt and the Sinai Covenant. The Christian Passover takes on and reveals the full meaning of the Jewish Passover. Liberation from sin is at the very root of political liberation. The former reveals what is really involved in the latter. But on the other hand, communion with God and others presupposes the abolition of all injustice and exploitation. This is expressed by the very fact that the Eucharist was instituted during a meal. For the Jews a meal in common was a sign of fellowship. It united the diners in a kind of sacred pact. Moreover, the bread and the wine are signs of fellowship which at the same time suggest the gift of creation. The objects used in the Eucharist themselves recall that fellowship is rooted in God’s will to give the goods of this earth to all persons so that they might build a more human world.
The Church: Sacrament of History
How Jesus died is very important. In the biblical texts he is not just described as “dead” but as “crucified.” There is a difference. To restore a dead person to life might be seen to strike a blow at mortality. But to restore a crucified man to life means to strike an equally decisive blow at the system that caused his wrongful death, and the death systems that continue to cause the suffering and fatality of millions in what the Latin American Theologian Jon Sobrino calls “a world of crosses.” The Resurrection story points not just to the ultimate victory of life over death, but of God’s shalom over cruelty, greed, and atrocities.
When Jesus Came to Harvard
To speak of God today is to talk about the power of justice and love in human relations as women and men of all races, nationalities, and cultures seek to remake the world for human habitation. God is that life-giving power who enables victims of injustice to survive in the midst of misery and to fight until freedom comes. It is this conviction that defines my perspective on God today, broadening and corrective my previous one-sided dependence on western theological categories. As life-giving power, God is the liberator who empowers the poor of the world to fight against their oppressors.
God is Black