November 12, 2008
Holiness isn’t a word I use often and honestly not a word I think of often because something in me could not resonate with holiness being defined only in terms of morality. The following explanation from Brueggemann’s An Introduction to the Old Testament of “holiness” from a biblical viewpoint makes much more sense to me:
Speaking of the Book of Leviticus Mary Douglas has proposed that chapters 18 and 20 provide a deliberate framework for chapter 19 so that the whole is arranged to show that love of neighbor has become the key component of a vision of holiness. Pg. 72
…in Douglas’s interpretation, the arrangement of the materials serves to subordinate holiness and purity to justice. Pg. 73
This view of biblical holiness makes sense to me as I reflect on the overarching Story of Scripture.
November 6, 2008
would really like to know your thoughts because this kind of stuff confounds me.
This from Sojourners
This election has shown that thtch e era of single-issue voting is over and a broader moral agenda that seeks common ground on moral issues has begun. Members of Black churches, Catholics, evangelicals, Latinos, and mainline Protestants are acting on a broad set of biblical values. I look forward to the day when both poverty reduction and abortion reduction become nonpartisan issues and bipartisan causes.
Please join me in offering President-elect Obama our prayers and our actions as he assumes the responsibility of leading our nation in a very challenging time.
And then this from Dutch Sheets who represents the very Right/Charismatic stream of the Church.
How does the Church witness to Christ in the world? First and foremost by giving visibility to Jesus’ love for the poor and the weak. In a world so hungry for healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and most of all unconditional love, the Church must alleviate that hunger through its ministry. Wherever we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the lonely, listen to those who are rejected, and bring unity and peace to those who are divided, we proclaim the living Christ, whether we speak about him or not.
It is important that whatever we do and wherever we go, we remain in the Name of Jesus, who sent us. Outside his Name our ministry will lose its divine energy. – Henri Nouwen
I think Henri Nouwen may have been meditating on Matthew 25 when he wrote this.
November 5, 2008
Black and white, all people of color, young and old celebrating in the streets, young people activated, John McCain giving a gracious, generative concession speech–what an historical moment we are living in. I pray we will take the hope ignited and in God’s hands make the most of this moment for our world. I bet those great cloud of witnesses are cheering:
“If this work can contribute in any way toward proving this, and at the same time arouse the conscience of the American people to a demand for justice to every citizen, and punishment by law for the lawless, I shall feel I have done my race a service.” Ida B. Wells
“I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.” Harriet Tubman
“I have a dream” “Let Justice Roll” Martin Luther King Jr.
November 4, 2008
I think the majority of us would agree that today is historic in so many ways for the United States. Even so, I can’t put all my eggs for “peace and Kingdom living” into the basket of who becomes the next president. What has been amazing (and sad) to me is how divisive for Christ followers this election has been. The one thing that I hope is that however you vote (or not vote) you would be respectful of everyone’s right to their decision. Honestly I don’t think Jesus is for one side or the other. I hope you vote your values and your conscience and are not in the fray causing division. As exciting as this day is, I am looking forward to tomorrow.
October 20, 2008
Rich and I are leaving before light tomorrow morning to go on retreat with the Regional Leadership Team. We are going to Victoria and staying here. I am looking forward to our time away and hoping I can get somewhat caught up on my studies…I am going to really try Winn:)
I think in this season of life one of my favorite things to do is go on retreat. I am hoping I can do a semi-silent retreat in November and then our annual women’s retreat in May. I think 2 or 3 retreats a year is what helps me recharge my batteries and empty my soul of all the clutter that seems to gather in all my busyness.
That’s about it for now.
October 17, 2008
Yesterday was my 52nd birthday. I actually love to celebrate birthdays, including mine:) It is a natural time for me to take some time and reflect on my life. My birthday began the night before when I got a bunch of Facebook birthday wishes and then an 11:00 p.m. phone call that our daughter-in-law, Hyemin was in labor. I knew there would be a good chance that our 12th grandchild would be born on my birthday. I thought, “what a beautiful gift” the gift of life, another person to welcome to our family and add to our ongoing story. I was in and out of sleep and prayer for Ben and Hyemin all night long. In the morning I woke up to Rich and Alex’s happy faces giving me a whole bunch of kisses and love. Then got to the office and I was greeted by Myra and Max with happy birthday wishes. On Thursday mornings I pray with a group of women. They brought a cake, coffee, cards, gifts and we had a fun little party and a good time of prayer. We found out on the way to the office, via a text from Ben that Daniel Haesung Cho Swetman was born around 7:00 a.m. We met him in the afternoon, he is gorgeous! I received lots of phone calls, texts, email and FB birthday wishes throughout the day. We went to dinner with some of our kids and grand-children. Then home exhausted and to bed.
Today as I take a few moments to reflect on my life at age 52 I sit in amazement and gratitude. Here are the words that come to mind:
There is of course sadness that has to do with broken relationships. In the sadness I find great comfort that at some point, maybe not even in this life “all matter of things will be well.”
I am one very grateful person. I could not have imagined the gifts that are given to me daily and for which I am most thankful!
October 15, 2008
I so try not to care about this…but then something like this happens and it makes me want to scream…
October 8, 2008
It’s no secret that I have decided I am voting for Obama. The one question that most Christians ask me is how I can be a follower of Jesus and vote for someone that is not pro-life. I am pro-life and I believe that being pro-life is bigger than “one” issue. Here is where I reach back to my Roman Catholic roots and lean into a the overarching reality of what pro-life means and meant before the 1980’s Moral Majority campaign (and others) redefined pro-life around one issue. Here is what I am talking about. So, I consider myself Pro-life and pro-Obama.
October 2, 2008
The news this week has no doubt caused anxiety and fear to creep up in many. Today I reflected on Psalm 112. It brought the reality of what it means to live through times like these with some perspective.
Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.
His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.
He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.