Should we have to adopt a belief we don't really hold in order to feel part of the larger American family who were collectively targeted on Monday, and who are grieving and searching for answers as part of one people?
Every Israeli secretly wants to be Indiana Jones. Archaelogy is the country's national pastime. Yet, archaeologists and their discoveries often find themselves at odd with traditional Jews. Their findings put into question foundational parts of the Jewish faith.
We should have stopped trying by now. We should have thrown up our hands in despair and cried, "Enough." We should have relented by now, given up any hope that our lives would cease being punctuated by random violence. We should have stopped hoping for something different. But we haven't.
I encourage you each to not spend these moments judging or attempting to discern who is guilty but rather to pray and to give. Pray asking for the abounding mercy and peace of God to be with the responders, medics, grief counselors and clergy.
What people really want in relationships is dignity, not domination. While it's not hard to understand why people who have suffered oppression might fantasize taking a turn at domination, to actually do so is to over-reach.
The final week in Jesus' life included especially great depths and heights: He faced a dark night of the soul in Gethsemane, a torturous cross and, ultimately, a glorious resurrection. Identifying with Jesus in His journey keeps us focused and faithful in ours.
Jesus came to rescue the broken ones, the downcast and the hurting ones. He came to rescue you and me. With many of us battling for the title of chief, we are all in desperate need of forgiveness and healing.
In moments of prayerful reflection, I have come to understand that my whole life has been leading to this: From reporting other people's biographies for A&E, to confessing my own in a new book. From broadcasting the news to broadcasting the The Good News.
My friend was having trouble reconciling the fact that I am both a scientist whom she respects and someone who calls himself a Christian. How do I tell my friend that being a Christian has not always been foundationally defined on belief, but a transformative way of newly living, a faith?
Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours I've seen both individuals and news outlets posting speculations about Rick Warren, his son and their relationship, with what I perceive to be an attempt at figuring out what went wrong. This is an awful but real human impulse.
There are simply no words to describe the atrocities of the Shoah. There are no explanations. It is so challenging to even know what to feel. That is why my second visit to Babi Yar was so much more powerful than my first. It was the singing.
I was raised outside of organized religion, in a spiritual-but-not-religious home. I obviously did not stay a "none." I'm a pastor in the United Church of Christ and I try, for better or worse, to live my life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
We would take the time to sound out each syllable, word, and sentence until they got it right, "With malice toward none, with charity for all ..." While they were learning to read, I wanted them to absorb the words of Lincoln.
To ensure the vitality of our nation, it's continued progress, to more fundamentally remember who we are and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and all those who died fighting for us, we must remember....we all have a role to play.
Survive and advance is one mantra of teams in the NCAA basketball tournament culminating in the Final Four. One strategy for churches struggling in a sports-obsessed culture may be a similar strategy: Adapt and advance.
Long story short, if I am doing my mothering job properly, my boy will some day come to recognize and appreciate the glory of Spring himself. He will know that life is universal and that its cyclical nature is confirmation of something to be celebrated.
They asked about the preacher's affairs. About the money he made. They asked if Donna Johnson, the woman who considered the preacher her stepdad, had forgiven him. But what they really wanted to know was had she ever seen a miracle that she believed was real?
There is so much to consider and experience at the Cross. So much we cannot afford to miss. Unless we look long enough at the Cross, the Resurrection will never mean nearly as much to us as it did to Christ.
I have found that one of the most challenging parts of my job is to get people to look for similarities at least as zealously as they look for differences. The more we identify as different, the less happy we are because we are denying the nature of the world. We are not separate.