About 10 years ago the movie The Passion of Christ was extremely popular. In it the filmmakers attempted to portray the gruesome nature of the crucifixion. The torture received by Jesus was reflected in the movie and the point was clearly made: Jesus suffered immensely at the hands of his accusers.
But if this is all we see when we consider the cross of Christ then we have not yet drilled down to see its core.
This looks like fun:
I live in a city of broken dreams. Walk into virtually any coffee shop or restaurant in Nashville, TN, and you can find someone working hard there doing something that is wildly contrary to what they originally came to this city to do.
They didn’t set out to be a server; they didn’t plan on being a barista. In fact, they might have a demo CD in their trunk even as they are pushing food or coffee out of the kitchen. There are those who look at their present state as a stopgap, confident that at some point they will make the right contact or find the right opportunity and their music career will take off. Sometimes it happens that way; most of the time it does not. And so there are also those there who are struggling with the discrepancy between what they envisioned their future to be and the trajectory they are currently on.
At one time, literacy was not universal. The ability to learn about God had to be found through the preached word and through hymns. For someone who could not read a word, he could hear a word and learn a spiritual truth. These days, it isn’t really a matter of can’t read, but don’t read. There is a reason why literacy programs are pushed forward. If a child can sit in front of a device which reads to him, is there any incentive to be a good reader? I love audio books, and it is often a much different experience to listen than to read, but I only listen to them when I can’t hold a book; like while driving, riding the stationery bike, or knitting.
What happens when people don’t read a lot and are faced week by week with worship songs that tell them little about God? Or only emphasize the subjective, personal aspect of our faith? We won’t learn objective truths about God; we will learn about our experience of God or how we feel about God.
Earlier this year, I had the privilege to visit two North African countries where Fusion teams are serving alongside International Mission Board missionaries. This is the second phase of their Fusion experience; all the training these teams received at Midwestern College in the fall semester is put to the test in hard places among unreached peoples in the spring semester. When I observed the work of three teams in two countries, I was struck by their usefulness in the long-term strategy of their IMB field partners. And after I observed their capabilities, I began to wonder if we might expect far too little of the young believers in our churches.
Why are Bibles printed with two columns instead of one?
This was interesting:
A favorite from the archives:
I can’t imagine what it would have been like that first Easter Sunday—to have been one of the first people to come to the tomb, and to hear the angels say, “He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6). To see the empty grave clothes. To meet Jesus and mistake him for a gardener. To walk alongside him on a road and not recognize him. To feel my heart burning within me as he spoke, but not understand what was happening.
To watch the beginnings of everything sad coming untrue, and not realize it.