Do you wish that Easter wasn’t over? Good news! It is not.
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.
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:
The evangelical church has gone through several phases since the Super Bowl started taking place right in the middle of the traditional Sunday night service.
Phase 1 (1980s): You are a bad Christian if you even think about skipping Sunday night service to watch the Super Bowl.
Phase 2 (early 1990s): We will all watch the Super Bowl at the church. This will include a potluck, youth fundraiser, and technical difficulties.
Phase 3 (late 1990s): Watch the Super Bowl with a group from the church, but you have to turn it off and do a devotional at half time.
Phase 4a (late 2000s): Watch the Super Bowl at home, but don’t enjoy it too much. Don’t get used to skipping church!
Phase 4b (late 2000s): The weekly Sunday night service is eliminated. (See the correlation to Phase 4a)
Phase 5 (early 2010s). Make the Sunday morning worship service to the Almighty God revolve around a Super Bowl theme. 🙂Worship team, buy your favorite NFL jersey to wear on stage.
Phase 6 (late 2010s): Skip church all day, because it’s Super Bowl Sunday.
* Disclaimer: I had fun writing this post. It was not meant for pastoral direction or cultural critique.
Why do Christians love the Bible so much? There are many answers, but let’s not forget this crucial reason: individual Christians have not always had the Scripture!
For centuries only spiritual leaders could access the Bible. This arrangement made God’s people vulnerable when leadership did not follow God’s heart. The courage and sacrifices of John Wycliffe (1328-1384), William Tyndale (1494-1536) and their ministry partners left us an incomparable gift – the Scripture in English. Read their stories some time.
As you pick your Bible to read in 2019, remember that the ability to read Scripture in your native language was very costly. Whatever we appreciate becomes valuable to us. Let us approach Scripture reading with deep appreciation.
We get to do this!
I 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.