✙ Ps 86:1 ✙
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
—United Church of Canada, 1968 (rev. 1980, 1995)
|Bread Winners by Thomas Blinks (1905) ✙|
✙ Ps 85:12-13 ✙
A literal interpretation of Psalm 85:12 seems a bit shallow—a precursor to today's name-it-claim-it theology which states that if we're good enough or have enough faith, we'll be blessed materially. Wouldn't a strictly spiritual interpretation be better (and more realistic)? Calvin takes both into consideration, and comes down on the side of the former. But he does so (whether intentionally or unintentionally, I don't know) in such a way as to make me think:
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
✙ Ps 85:10-11 ✙
Theologians sometimes very dryly refer not to Jesus, but to the Christ Event. I suppose this is supposed to mean the historical Jesus, considered apart from faith. But if you were to ask me, "What is the Christ Event?" I would answer: It's what happens when steadfast love and faithfulness meet, when righteousness and peace kiss one another, when faithfulness springs up from the earth and righteousness looks down from the sky: The point at which they all intersect is the Christ Event. Calvin agreed, saying of this verse, "I cordially embrace the opinion which is held by many, that we have here a prophecy concerning the kingdom of Christ." And what is that kingdom, except the time and place where all these wonderful things come together?
Monday, September 17, 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018
UCC Series II
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
A few years ago, I came across an old schoolbook of mine. Very old. It was my second-grade spelling book, and it was nothing if not a curious volume. For instance, one lesson—the one I’d have read in November of 1967—had a brief story about the first Thanksgiving, followed by a list of words that I was supposed to learn to spell. It was a story of goodwill and inclusion, and the vocabulary words were simple and pleasant, such as beans and feast and eat. The point was well taken: so amicable were the Pilgrims and Indians (as they were called in those days), that together they could teach seven-year-olds how the letters e and a could work together to create a single clean sound.
But then a few lessons later—and this one I would’ve read sometime around March of 1968—came another story about colonial America. The picture above the story was of a frightened blond girl in her log cabin. The text was all about Indians (we still called them that a few months later) attacking her family. “The Indians were on the warpath!” the story proclaimed. And the vocabulary list included words like warpath, and arrow, and tomahawk. The lesson was clear. So untrustworthy and volatile had these Indians become, that they could now be employed to teach second-graders not only the fickle nature of the letter w, but just as importantly, its adverse effects on innocent English vowels.
✙ Ps 85:6
Eugene Peterson said that "nothing suffers from time quite so much as religion. The skeletal structure of obedience becomes arthritic, and the circulatory system of praise becomes sluggish."*