Articles tagged with: Pastoral Reflections
by John W. Herbst
We live in an age of distrust, far from Isaiah’s ideal. Individually and collectively, people seek security. The church needs to promote Isaiah’s solutions to local and global disharmony: concentration on God’s ways and values, and the promotion of justice for all people, everywhere. It is only in knowledge and justice that our society will experience true shalom.
by Albrecht Classen
Both Christine and St. Francis are deeply insightful, timeless, spiritual, and illuminating philosophers on peace and its universal meaning. We need only little translation to make both their teachings relevant today. The goals and ideas have not changed, but only the material and political framework.
by Jonathan A. Seitz
This personal theological essay reflects on the centennial of World War 1, asking how we make sense of a century that was horrifically violent even as the world is perhaps becoming less violent. It uses Luke 21 (which is sometimes used by missionaries) to gain perspective on the terror and promise of our times.
by Amy K Bell Finiki
To create a peaceable kingdom in 2017, we need to hold one another accountable. We need to ask the hard questions and we need to keep being persistent. The only way to live peaceably is to begin to understand our discomforts, especially those with other people. We can heal one another through our stories and eventually, no one will think twice when a group of young people of all colors come together to learn from one another.
by Janet E. Blair
The foundation of the ESL ministry of the Morning Star Fellowship in the Korean immigrant community in northern New Jersey is not English language teaching with a lopsided power differential, but mutual teaching and learning, sharing of Biblical insights and cultural experience, and brotherly and sisterly love. This new faith community is living out the peaceable kingdom as the body of Christ now rather than passively awaiting the not yet.
by Jerry Reisig
As we are daily inundated with images of war, we begin to wonder what an image of peace would look like. George Fox, an early Friend (Quaker), spoke of the need to become “patterns and examples” which reﬂect the God within. Friends have long looked to the Epistle of James for guidance in becoming perfect in their walks, warning of false images and the desires. Friends are called to become images of peace from God within, so that others might come to see the God within themselves.
by Nancy Fields
For a while, I struggled to find grace in the words, “They will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.” However, as I listen to the politics of the day, I am convinced of the wisdom of those words. My challenge has been to put the words of rhetoric, debate, and argument in their rightful places!
by Peter Lau
As we read the psalms, we find the motif of panting or thirsting, which is part of a larger theme of longing for God. This article will first explore the motif of panting and thirsting in five psalms, and then trace the theme of longing through to the New Testament.
by Rebeca Radillo
The theme of this article is “Breathing.” Its purpose is to expand our thinking to allow us to better understand the complexity of the human life by seeking in the biopsychosocial/spiritual/religious model new perspectives related to the intricacy of human life. Its goal is to expand our vision to the point that we realize that nothing in our daily life, even when it is as simplistic and routine as “breathing,” can be taken for granted.
by Harold Dean Trulear
In a real sense, if we answer the question “How do we preach to them,” we run the risk of developing a formulaic response itself devoid of the Divine Breath. The answer lies not in a formula, but in an encounter with that Breath itself. Our encounter with that Breath as preachers gives freer passageway for the Breath to enter the places in congregants’ souls deprived of spiritual oxygen.
by Reginald Brantley
If we believe that God’s heart is a dwelling place for justice and grace big enough for us who were once estranged from God, then surely we know our expression of God must include making our hearts dwelling places of justice and grace for those whom we would call strangers.
by Mark C. Johnson
The notion of sacred places generally makes for good religion but poor theology. Great stories such as the one of the burning bush, Peniel, and the Mount of Olives, offer wonderful and metaphors, but what do they draw us toward? What makes a conference center hosted library for example, or a sanctuary, a dwelling place, sacred spaces?