Category Archives: witness

Black History Month: In The Beginning Was The Relationship

Black History Month: In The Beginning Was The Relationship

The creation story starts with the familiar words, “In the beginning, God.”  It goes on to include some physical phenomena, a move of the Spirit, and eventually, man and woman made in “our,” a plural God, image.  That verse could have as easily said, “In the beginning was the Relationship.” God is nothing if He is not an interconnected, intensely intimate, multi-person being.

This idea is magnified a thousand times over in the parallel opening of John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What does that say if not, “In the beginning was the Relationship.” That’s a phrase I learned from Richard Rohr.

The very nature of God demonstrated to us, and demonstrated through us, is that of relationship. God shows His plurality in the blessing of two nations through Abraham’s sons, the Arabian descendants of Ishmael, and the Children of Blessing, the Israelites, that came from the miracle son, Isaac. God says different tribes and different cultures are still made in His image.

He demonstrates His desire for equality in the division of the Promised Land to all twelve sons of Jacob, though only one, Judah had in himself the lineage that would produce David and eventually Jesus. All men and women equal, though one tribe uniquely appointed.

Jesus, though a Jew, coming to Jews, spent time with the non-religious, the outcast, and even the gentiles. He ate with sinners. He allowed a woman to wash His feet. And Paul finally brings the relationship into perspective when he says, in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.”

In the beginning was the Relationship. And the call of the people of God is to demonstrate the plurality and equality of the family of God, not just back then, but today. The church has always, when it has been good, been a bastion of acceptance, advancement, and affirmation of all races, of male and female, of every socio-economic status. We have been, and need to be, a place where men and women of every creed and color feel welcome and valued. The church is and should be a place where there is no “them and us” but only the beloved we, the children of God.

February is Black History Month. In the relationship of God’s people, that means it is our history month. Whether we are black or white, it is our opportunity to celebrate the challenges and the courageous successes of our brothers and sisters of color. It is our time to acknowledge the tremendous contributions and accomplishments of Black men and women, in our nation and in our world. Black History Month is our month, as a church. It is our chance to be an example of what if means to be “in Christ.” It is our time to say to the world, “We are all created in the image of God. We are known by our love for one another.” It is our time to demonstrate that before there was anything else, there was the Relationship.

5/8/23 MondayMatters: Testimony

5/8/23 MondayMatters: Testimony

5/8/23 MondayMatters: Testimony. Perhaps the most important words that will ever come out of my mouth is my testimony. When it is done right; centered on Christ, current, all about change, it has the power to change lives for generations to come. Here’s a quick testimony about testimonies. #MondayMatters #takeaminutemakeadifference https://youtu.be/iHFmeGTwzHY Continue Reading

40 Days to Celebrate the Coming King

40 Days to Celebrate the Coming King

Consider taking the 40 Days before Christmas to intentionally focus on the Coming King and on growing deeper in your faith. I invite you to an online devotional time starting tomorrow and ending on Christmas Eve. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3. 1. We will do 1 thing together for the 40 days,… Continue Reading

Stillness

Stillness

My youngest son, Jacob, for several years was the “frontman” for the house band at Tootsie’s, an iconic honky-tonk in Nashville. The frontman is not necessarily the lead singer. He may not even be the most musical in the band. (Though of course, Jacob was.) The frontman is the guy that has a gift for… Continue Reading

Bread

Bread

Reading today: Psalm 65, John 6:15-40 Remember Richard Rohr. He says, “All language about God is necessarily symbolic and figurative. Actually all language is metaphorical. Words are never the thing itself; they can only point toward the thing, which is exactly why “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14). As James Finley, a CAC core faculty… Continue Reading

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation

The Calling of Reconciliation Psalm 53, John 1:35-51 On Tuesday Josh and Jennifer were explaining Lent to Jon-Mical and Jakson. They were telling the boys how some people traditionally give something up for the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Jon-Mical, who… Continue Reading

40 Days of Reconciliation

40 Days of Reconciliation

Good morning! Here we go for 40 Days of Reconciliation during Lent. I am anticipating God working in and around me as I focus intentionally on Him. My challenge is that during Lent, from now to Easter we give something up, take something on, read the scripture daily, and pray daily. (I recommend praying three… Continue Reading