Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission (or that just made us laugh). Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:
Church & Theology
Fr. Tony Bleything tells a beautiful story at the #AntiochSession about what true incarnation looks like:
Teri was self-forgetting and willing to enter into a world that was not her own in order to safeguard a suffering person. She was willing to suspend her reality and enter the reality of the person she was caring for. By doing this the people Teri looked after felt deeply loved, they felt safe, and they experienced intimacy and trust. Teri became their guide and when a relationship was established she was able to walk with them on the way towards transformation. Teri’s willingness to enter into the brokenness of her patients was a form of invitation. She was with them where they were, and she invited them on a journey towards greater wholeness. This is incarnation in its full beauty
Dan White Jr. writes at V3 about five types of bitterness that are common in missional church expressions:
A missional church must come to terms with the overwhelming number of people that carry a burning-bitterness. In many ways, their inner turmoil towards the church and its extensions are justified. There is no erasing the experiences that they lived through. Many of these angers have been untouched but quite possibly have been stoked by others who are just as turned-off and angry.
I am so thoroughly convinced that bitterness and cynicism is the most prevalent poison in our times. When we are hurt, dashed, and royally let down, a villain is erected. It becomes a sub-conscious controlling figure that clouds our choices, opinions and spiritual trajectory.
Logan Gentry blogs at the Verge Network about repenting of our missional silence on #Ferguson:
The shooting death of teenager Mike Brown and the resulting aftermath of protests and inordinate police response have dominated the news cycle. The scene looked more like the Gaza strip than a suburb outside of St. Louis, MO. These things continue to happen and reveal that it is more than an isolated event, but actually endemic of a larger cultural issue.
What has happened in Ferguson and to Mike Brown is unacceptable on so many levels, but we must recognize how we are all a part of the cause. The church at large, and especially the majority white church in America, must consider how we must repent of our silence in areas where we have the opportunity to make a difference.
Zack Hunt blogs about a Lutheran pastor and her unique ministry to the homeless in the form of a food truck:
Margaret Kelly is this pastor’s name and she leads an Evangelical Lutheran congregation in St. Paul, Minnesota. Turns out Rev. Kelly has a background as a former French chef. About a year ago she (along with her congregation) decided to combine her culinary talents with her love for people in order to create a food truck that would serve free calzones to the homeless in her community.
News & Views
The Christian Post reports on Christian rapper Lecrae speaking out about #Ferguson:
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about “lawlessness” and then demanding “equality and justice.”
“Regardless of your view on #Ferguson. If [you] have zero compassion for that community you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. These are my cousins, aunts, nieces, uncles, nephews, and our ethnic bond is strong,” Lecrae wrote on Instagram Friday. “It does not supersede my bond of faith but at times it feels like my eternal family could care less about my earthly family.”
Thabiti Anyabwile writes a powerful piece at The Gospel Coalition about his one fear in coming to America to plant a church:
“Truthfully, the Lord has kept us from any fears that we can discern about planting the church or living in Southeast. If I have a fear it would be one thing: bringing my son Titus to the United States. He’s so tender and innocent and the States can be very hard on Black boys.”
That’s my one fear. This country destroying my boy. Ferguson is my fear. I could be the black dad approaching a white sheet stained with his son’s blood. I could be the husband holding his wife, rocking in anguish, terrorized by the ‘what happeneds’ and the ‘how could theys,’ unable to console his wife, his wife who works so hard to make her son a “momma’s boy” with too many hugs, bedtime stories, presents for nothing, and an overflowing delight in everything he does. How do you comfort a woman who feels like a part of her soul was ripped out her chest?
Jonathan Storment writes at the Jesus Creed blog about Dr. Kent Brantley and the ebola outbreak:
I get upset when I travel to other countries that don’t have good air conditioning in my hotel room, but when I heard that story I was deeply moved. Because I knew that the world had stumbled onto what Church has called for two thousand years “a disciple.”
Preachers have often reminded us that the Gospel literally means “good news” but for the first time in a while that was more than just a translation. In a world that sorely needed a breath, a glimpse of hope, we finally got some good news.
In a time when war is breaking out everywhere, when racism and privilege is tearing our culture apart, and everyone seems to be fighting for their own corner of the universe, Kent Brantly didn’t.
What about you? What links, stories, videos impacted you this week? What’s happening on your own blog? Let us know in the comments!