By Eugene R. Schlesinger What is man that you should be mindful of him? the son of man that you should seek him out? (Psalm 8:5) There is a wonder in being small and recognizing your smallness. Living ... Read More...
The following may not quite enable the musical equivalent of a monastic flight from the forced saccharine madness that blares from too many speakers in public places, but each album will help create spaces of Christian contemplation and reflection during the Christmas season.
Jesus’ coming in Advent is not only his coming as an infant in Bethlehem, nor only his coming as our judge at the end of time. It is also his coming to the depths of death and judgment: his presence in hell which grants it its truest, realest existence while at the same time undoing its sting with infinite mercy. Jesus’ presence in hell is the paradoxical symbol of justice that promises us the fullness of mercy and the fullness of judgment of God.
Rather than acting as a signpost to the strange new world of Scripture, the sermon all-too-often obstructs our view of the Bible’s terrain. We have lost sight of the strange; our pews remain fixed in the familiar.
In a period of undeniable decline among American churches — in the Episcopal Church this can only be described as precipitous decline — everyone in every form of ministry needs to answer directly and unambiguously how their work supports bringing people to Jesus Christ.
But what if heaven is not primarily a place of peace, but instead a community, created by communal participation in the divine life? Such a conception of heaven allows us to begin to imagine it as a place of communal accountability — a place where all can be welcome only because all are responsible to one another: a place of justice.