Monday, July 8, 2013

Going out 2 by 2 Luke 10:1-20 and Galatians 6:7-16

This week, we're continuing on our journey with Luke, and we've got this wonderful story of the disciples going out two by two that we get to play with.
you may remember last week we talked about freedom and allegiance, in the context of Jesus' call to let the dead bury their own dead, and claim that the son of man has no place to lay his head. These radical claims invited people to look to a new value system, beyond the ordinary, everyday dynamics of life, and to become a new creation in the kingdom of God.

As a consequence
This week, Luke tells us what happened when people made this kind of radical commitment, and said yes when Jesus called “Follow Me”. After collecting his disciples, those who were willing to make a deep commitment, Jesus sent them out in the highways and byways to proclaim that the Kingdom of God had come near. We talk most about the 12 disciples, the inner core that Jesus used to organize things, in intentional parallel to the 12 tribes of Israel, but the hierarchy wasn't that strict-James and John and Peter seem to have been an inner core beyond the 12, and here we see Jesus with a larger group-35 teams of two, traveling from place to place proclaiming the good news.
These faithful 70 were the advanced guard, the ground team, preparing these places for Jesus to come through, so that his ministry might have the most impact in the short time that he had remaining.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thinking about Government, or how to make American Government Better

It's the 4th of July, a day to honor the American Experiment- the promise of a representative democracy with strong protection for individual rights-
so I celebrate the blessing that it is to be a part of the United States of America, and how privileged I am. I know that I am richer, healthier, and safer here than I would be had I been born almost anywhere else, at any time in history (the only competitive options are Japan and Western Europe), and that is because of that interdependent experiment in Democracy we call America. 
However, for the 4th I thought maybe a few notes on how our wonderful Democracy might improve itself. I usually stay out of politics, because I think it's useful to separate the church and the state. But for the 4th I thought it would be fun to make an exception, because I've always thought it is fascinating to reflect on government structures-its important in the church, and in the world. I've spent many hours reflecting on how churches can structure themselves politically for maximum effectiveness and faithfulness, and some of the lessons apply to the United States as well. So here are 7 things we might do as a country to make things work better in Washington and in our own states and towns. I think these are all non-partisan, they certainly would have negative impacts on both Republicans and Democrats. Just to note-these are all focused on government structure-the most important thing that we can do as a country to improve ourselves is to pass a cap and trade bill with the proceeds distributed equally to all Americans, striking a significant blow against poverty and global warming in one simple step.

Anyway, with no further ado, after the jump

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Discipleship challenges Galatians 5:13-25, Luke 9:51-62

It is always fun to deal with hard texts in scripture-here I reflect on Jesus' calling to "let the dead bury their own dead" in relationship to freedom and our allegiance to Christ. 
Let me know what you think.