My oldest grandchild texted me this link a couple of days ago. “Take a look at this," she wrote, “and tell me what you think when you get a chance.” The link opens an article about the church trial of United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer for officiating at his gay son’s wedding six years ago. His action violated the denomination’s clear prohibition of clergy performing same-sex marriages.
Recently I was reminded of the costs of war. First, as I mentioned recently, seeing terrorist violence break out in the city of Nairobi, near where the young lady my wife Kat and I hosted as an international exchange student goes to school shook me up making the real costs of war come home to me. Someone's son or daughter always is threatened, and often dies in the face of war.
I'm a Meth-head
Wait. That doesn't sound right....
I'm a Methodist nerd, how about that? Specifically, I'm a John Wesley nerd. I think that Methodism, at its very core, has incredible things to offer this world. Our way of understanding the gospel, and sharing the love of God, is incredibly applicable to the world we find ourselves in.
Alas, so many Methodists do not know what it means to have inherited this rich heritage, passed onto to us through the past 229 plus years.
Every one of my readers has been in the situation of things not going as planned. Maybe it was a sweetheart in high school who didn't see life as we did and went another way. Or a job that didn't pan out as we expected. Or health concerns rearing their ugly head at the absolutely worst time of our lives. I could go on--the list is endless.
Trolling the news, two separate but related stories have stuck in my theological craw of late.
Two stories that strike me as adventures in missing the plot. The Gospel plot.
“If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you’ve come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
― Australian Aboriginal Elder Lilla Watson
And my thanks to Taylor Walters Denyer for posting the quote on her blog – see http://taylorwalters.blogspot.com/2013/07/conscience-laundering-and-mission-trip.html
An Ideal World
I'm with Rick Perry, Governor of Texas (whom I personally find embarrassing in his egomaniacal drive to become President of the US) on one thing only: in an ideal world, there would be no abortions.
But also in an ideal world there would be cohesive families, no rape or incest, no fetal deformities incompatible with life, no spousal/girlfriend abuse, no abandoned mothers/children, affordable health care and insurance, high quality subsidized day-care available to all who need it, an economy that makes meaningful work available to all, an educational system that does not shortchange the poorest of the poor, and religious practices that show the world what real, sacrificial love looks like.