Our God Is One

indexBy Will O’Brien

Last Sunday, I was deeply blessed to be able to attend the Interfaith Freedom Seder +50 in Philadelphia.  This unique gathering was a commemoration of the original Freedom Seder in 1969 organized by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia.

Along with several hundred Jews, Muslims, and Christians (and likely folks of other faith traditions or even no religious), we paid homage to the original Freedom Seder and, acting out of that powerful tradition, forged a liturgy and celebration that spoke directly to the political, economic, moral, and spiritual challenges we face today. Continue reading

In The End, It’s Not Perfection

20181215_122508 (1)By Rev. Dr. Victoria Marie 

*This is part of a series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

When I think about the definition of “radical” discipleship, the first thing that comes to mind is there is only discipleship. In other words what has come to be known as “radical discipleship” is discipleship. All else is “nominal discipleship.” That is not to say that disciples are perfect, as Peter clearly demonstrates. Rather, it is aspirational and made concrete through actions in accordance with what Jesus taught. It is not enough to call oneself a Christian, a disciple. Nor is it enough to be able to quote scripture. Rather, the measure of our discipleship is our capacity to love as Jesus commanded, including our enemies. Discipleship calls us to love and seek justice for the poor and marginalized among us, especially the vulnerable, which in our time includes the very Earth and her endangered flora and fauna. Continue reading

A God Who is Very Different from the Almighty

AugsburgerFrom the conclusion of David Augsburger’s recent piece “Lent: Is God Like Jesus?” originally posted on The Mennonite blog. Read the entire Lenten reflection here.

“Christ is not only God-like, but God is Christ-like,” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in Strength to Love (1963). The Christian gospel proclaims a God who is very different from “the Almighty,” the historic God among all the gods who is, by trusted definition, an omnipotent paragon of ultimate invincible irresistible power. The God of Jesus Christ, in Leonardo Boff’s phrase, is “weak in power but strong in love” (Cry of the Earth; Cry of the Poor, 1978).

God is like this gentle good gracious guest at Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ home, at Zacheus’ table, at Simon’s banquet, at Cleophas and spouse’s supper. Continue reading

To Combat Deportation: A Day of Prayer

Christians for SocialismThis Monday, April 15,  Christians For Socialism is proposing a day of prayer for all those in the States facing deportation (see below for more specifics). Consider joining them.  

On Tuesday, April 2, a court ruled that hundreds of Assyrian/Chaldean people in the Detroit area detained by ICE could be deported to Iraq after a legal battle carried out by the ACLU. The Assyrians/Chaldeans are a regional minority who have been targeted and brutalized in Iraq. The deportation would be especially dangerous for Assyrian/Chaldean Christians. Continue reading

To Walk in Love and Not Fear

Kings BayFrom Clare Grady, a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, in an interview with Amy Goodman this week on Democracy Now, explaining why they risked twenty-five years in prison for their nonviolent action on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination:

The weapons of empire are always the threat of death and torture and incarceration and dehumanization. And so, when we undertake this, as white people of privilege, we are just adding a little tiny bit to what is ongoing of the struggle of people, where the Doomsday Clock has already hit midnight for them and their children and their grandchildren and the Earth where they live.

But I think that what we want to do…is be invitational to other people with similar privilege to say that we enjoy these privileges. But we’re not really enjoying it. There’s just tremendous cost that comes with all this. But in stepping over that line and taking that hammer and actually hammering a dent in some of these weapons system, they give you this 25-year threat, but you don’t know what the outcome is. The whole process is to encourage each other to walk in love and not fear.

Wild Lectionary: No Peace in Heaven, No Peace on Earth

van-gogh-the-starry-night-1889

Vincent VanGogh’s Starry Night

Liturgy of the Palms Year C
By Wes Howard-Brook and Sue Ferguson Johnson

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3.1-2)

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! (Luke 12.51)

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,
“Blessed is the king

who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!
(Luke 19.37-38)

In imagining ways to hear Scripture from the lens of “wild lectionary,” we tend to jump to details of life on earth: water, trees, animals, mountains. This focus on earth is challenged by this week’s passage from Luke, as Jesus and his disciples enter Jerusalem for what we’ve come to call “Holy Week.” For Luke tells us that “the whole multitude of disciples” proclaimed as Jesus came down the Mount of Olives, not “peace on earth,” but “peace in heaven.” What can they be thinking? What is the relationship between heaven and earth when it comes to making peace? Continue reading

Fourth Helpings

talitha4By Talitha Fraser

We live in times where the focus is on those things that divide rather than connect us but as Chappo (Peter Chapman) says “You should share communion together, it has a unique power to unite beyond words.

For many years I was a co-ordinator for a local community project called Sharing Abundance, the idea behind the project was food sustainability through food rescue and food redistribution.  If we noticed a home in our neighbourhood had produce growing, especially if they didn’t seem to be using it, we’d knock and ask if we could pick it and donate it on to people in need: through our local church foodbank and outreach projects offering a community meal. Mostly people were happy to get rid of it seeing the produce as something that attracted lots of birds and bats or made a mess on the lawn below. Continue reading