Grieving for Notre-Dame

Iconic buildings do matter.   They are the culmination of culture, history, story, faith, and love.  They are a connecting point for a disjointed society.

Human beings reflect the image of God in many ways, including our creativity and skill in building beautiful structures.  

A centuries-old building lost in an evening brings a sadness we cannot quite reconcile, so we grieve for the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The amazing International Space Station

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A couple of sermons ago, I talked about the International Space Station as an illustration. I forgot to include this thought-provoking quote that impacted me:
 
“Few of us give a thought to the International Space Station, even though, when the future measures our collective contribution to humanity, the ISS will prove the single best thing we did. Less than a century after the Model T was state of the art, we manufactured a kind of galleon in space and have sent men and women from 10 countries to live in it, along with a host of short-term visitors, without recess or mutiny or fatality, for nearly 20 years.” -Chris Jones, Wired Magazine.

Reflections on George H.W. Bush

bush_prez_0I am quite an admirer of George H.W. Bush (1924-2018), and think of him fondly on the news of his death. I always liked Bush, but when I was younger I was not overly enthusiastic about his leadership.  As time has progressed, my appreciation and respect for him as a leader continued to increase, until he has developed in my mind – for too many reasons to put in this post – as one of my favorite historical leaders.

He produced cooperation.  He was strong against tyranny.  He was compassionate towards the disadvantaged.  He was very human and very American.

Thirty years ago, Bush stated “We need a kinder and gentler nation.”  We needed that cultural challenge then, and it still calls to those who will listen today.

The Jewish People

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I love the Jewish people, and will stand for them.
 
I will not participate in anti-Semitic jokes or slanderous innuendos about this race. I am so thankful for this family from which my faith has originated.
 
I grieve with them in the aftermath of the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

On historic day, US returns to Jerusalem

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Today is a celebration of 70 years of Israel becoming a modern nation on May 14, 1948. This has been an important global development, as this persecuted ethnic group needs a land and a national identity. The six million lost souls of the holocaust demanded that the Jews have a geographic home for protection, cultural development, and religious freedom.

In these last 70 years Israel has been a positive global force of democratic values, technological progress, religious pluralism, and frequent times of global cooperation for peace.

Today, President Trump’s administration finalized a courageous and appropriate step to establish the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, instead of Tel Aviv.  This steps further supports the nation of Israel, which has been an incredible ally to the United States in the middle of the most volatile region of the world.

I grieve the loss of Palestinians who are losing their lives in protest of today’s events.  I pray for their welfare and for peace.  Yet, I believe the support of a strong Israel will lead to the peace that the world desires and needs.