Friday, February 06, 2009

Free hugs


I was reading about Shane Claiborne over at Gen-X Rising. Andrew talks about Claiborne's faith being almost Sunday School like in some ways. Yet Andrew points out that sometimes simple is so much better than what we try to make it about.

When I read that post this morning, I couldn't help but be reminded of a video that I saw awhile ago on You Tube. I have used this video during sermons a few times in a couple of different places. The video
to me emphasizes just what I read about faith today.

It is about feeding the poor and healing the sick. Our faith is about looking our for the least, last, and lost wherever that may take us this day. It is a constant decision each day to reach out into the world looking for ways to make a difference. A constant search for someone to hug.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Faith should not divide us.


Today I read in the Washington Post, some of President Obama's thoughts during the National Prayer Breakfast. They were reassuring words and words that i believe we all need to hear. Part of what he said was religion has been used "as a tool to divide us from one another".

It is a shame isn't it? The thing that should bring people together, the one thing that we have that should transcend all else is so often simply used as another way to divide us. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, etc. seem to spend a lot of time talking about and fighting about those things that make us different from each other instead of the things that should be uniting us.

Faith is something that is supposed to help us rise above and be better than we can possibly be alone, yet it so often is something that drags us down and makes us less than we ever should be. Why is that? Is it because of faith or is it because of us?

I think the answer is obvious enough. We often get in the way of our own success and evolution as people. We sabotage our own lives in many ways. We try to mold and shape our faith and our beliefs and make the world conform to them and more importantly to us. Obama's words are a reminder to us all that this is not what faith is all about.

Our belief in something greater than ourselves and our belief that life is worth living and our faith in the worth of all people and creation itself should be the one thing that brings us together as we continue to strive to be who God has created us to be.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Freedom

Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.

This is a prayer I read on Sacred Space today. It hit home today as I have been doing a lot of reading on the concept of Free Will and Grace this week. Freedom is such a funny thing. We, in this country at least, often go around trumpeting our freedoms and how this country is the home of freedom and founded on the principle of freedom.

Yet, do we really understand what real freedom is? More importantly, do we understand what God desires for us and our lives with this freedom he has given us?

The questions I begin to ponder this week are:
What is this freedom?
What does God want us to do with it?
How does this freedom help us as we go to make disciples for Jesus Christ?
What can we do to make sure we don't take this freedom for granted?