As personal as it gets

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01“The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their [ancestors]..for they broke my covenant, …this is the covenant that I will make…I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31)

Way back in the day, before this life as a Franciscan, I was helping out with a teen ministry program at my parish. I will always remember one comment a young women made – the topic is not relevant (and not so well remembered) – but her last words stuck with me: “It’s not like I have a contract with God or anything.” Continue reading

How Will You Belong? The Stranger at Our Doors

Welcome-StrangersLast week in this column I mused about the connections of being a welcoming community and hospitality. As part of that musing, I wondered about the distinction between entertaining and hospitality, surmising that it perhaps depends on your role model and the source of your ideas about hospitality. If the model is from Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, and Southern Living Magazine – then perhaps “entertaining” is a better description. As a church of believing Christians, it would be best to look to Jesus for models of hospitality. Continue reading

The hour: a reflection

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01Again, I find O’Day’s insights thoughtful and to the point, so again, I offer her words as a …. A Final Reflection  (Gail O’Day, 713-15)

John 12:20–36 is the most concentrated collection of sayings on the death of Jesus in the Gospel of John and, therefore, provides the interpreter with an appropriate place to reflect on the meaning of the death of Jesus in this Gospel. Theological inquiry about Jesus’ death and its soteriological [things relating to salvation] efficacy is most frequently identified as “atonement theology.” Before looking at the Johannine understanding of the death of Jesus, it will be helpful to review the theologies of atonement that have shaped and continue to shape the life of the church. Continue reading