Category: The Spiritual Life

Murmurations

Most of us have seen TV documentaries that feature flocks of starlings whirling through the sky as a single dynamic body. It’s called a ‘murmuration.’ There are other examples, like a ball of sardines swimming together in tight formations to escape ocean predators. Herds of migratory animals—buffalo and Wildebeests—also display complex group movements on land. …

Read More Murmurations

Working Together

Russ, my stepfather, struggled with Parkinson’s related tremors in his last five years of life. Near the end he couldn’t eat without help, or handle his phone, or use a keyboard. He knew what he wanted his hands to accomplish, but his body betrayed him. His struggles were like many churches today. The ultimate head …

Read More Working Together

Connecting Dots

In Deuteronomy 8 Moses warned Israel against self-confidence. He reminded them of God’s manna for forty-years. The key benefit of manna was that it kept them alive. The drawback was that it was dull and predictable. So the ancient Israelites asked, why such a dull diet? God answered through Moses. It was “that he might …

Read More Connecting Dots

Proper Alignment

A few years ago, when Boeing was first building the B-787 Dreamliner, a magazine article caught my attention. Parts of the airplane were built separately all around the world and then gathered and assembled in Everett, Washington. So it was critical for every piece to fit perfectly once it reached the final factory floor. But …

Read More Proper Alignment

The City of God

Augustine, the lead pastor of the church in Hippo, North Africa, spent more than a decade writing the City of God—from 413 to 426. It was his response to news that Alaric, commander of the Goths, had sacked Rome in 410. So Christians in the Roman Empire were shaken. Christians throughout the Empire, including the …

Read More The City of God

Easter

Easter always invites reflection. Think of how divine devotion and human response come together. The Father so loved us that he sent the Son to swallow our death for us. It reveals how he values us. His beloved Son, at the Father’s request, took on our sins at the cross. He tasted our forsakenness and …

Read More Easter

Our Ultimate End

In his lifetime Richard Sibbes’ (1577-1635) theology changed at some key points. For any who appreciate Sibbes the claim invites some attention. We know he was a lifelong learner and was ready to think for himself. As a pastor and teacher he read widely and explored the Bible both for his teaching and in his …

Read More Our Ultimate End

Cold love

Jesus was asked about the “end of the age” and his answer offered some surprises. “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one …

Read More Cold love

What God has prepared

Paul is blunt: anyone outside the faith is as thick as a brick about God. Without faith no one will ever grasp God’s ways or wisdom. Even if they happen to be otherwise bright and able. Yet once faith comes alive the promise of Isaiah 64:4 is available to all: “‘What no eye has seen, …

Read More What God has prepared