Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Silliness

Here's a silly elf cartoon featuring the four professional ministers at St. John United Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Would you want to have pastors like these?


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What are you waiting for?

We don’t know how to wait! Everything in our techno-culture is screaming towards efficiency. Saving time is one of the basic criteria in new product development. Cell phones help us use “down time” productively. Internet innovations promise more features that help us be more efficient with time. I am shopping for a pressure cooker which promises to cook food quickly.
There are two kinds of time. Chronos is the ticking of the clock; sequential time. Many of today’s products actually do save us chronos. But there is also Kairos which signifies "a time in between", a moment of undetermined period of time in which "something" special happens. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature. We could say that kairos is God’s time. I’m not sure that modern technology is helping us to save “kairos” time. So what are we to do with Advent? It is a time to wait, a time to prepare. I would ask that we all DO something to help us nurture kairos time. Maybe it is to sit down each day with the Advent devotional and our Bibles. Maybe we will want to volunteer serving meals at Bean’s CafĂ©. Perhaps we will be able to put more kairos into our Christmas, toning down the spending, and giving alternative gifts.
This is a request that each of us get in touch with the power of waiting. In doing so may we each discover our God in the midst of kairos moments.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thoughts on Thanksgiving


How comfortable are you in probing the depths of your soul? Do you become anxious when someone begins talking about feelings that reside at the core of who we are? It’s certainly not something I want to talk about every day with God or anyone else. But I do need to spend some time slowly knowing who I am down deep in my heart. If I don’t allow my thanksgiving to take me to the depths, then the hurt of a sudden and unexpected loss will take me there and it will feel very strange and lonely and painful. Why? Because I won’t be familiar with the deep places. I won’t know my way around. Major losses in our lives will be felt, not at the surface, but at the very depths of who we are.I know it and you know it. Everyone of us will get that phone call or visit from someone telling us about a tragic loss. If we have already spent time with our thanksgiving in the deep places, we will know that God is with us even during the most difficult and grief-stricken time of our lives.