The soul is the fountain of our flourishing. We all, in one way or another, want to thrive. Who wants to die never having lived into who they really are? How can we rediscover the fire and force of our souls, to love well, do good work, make a difference, live with meaning, and build a better world? . . .
Unlike the other three Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Gospel of John begins more scientifically than it does historically. The first line of the Gospel reads: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” That may not sound like science to us today, but it was a form of science two thousand years ago when it was written. It was science and philosophy and theology all rolled into one. Back then, a university would never have relegated these disciplines to separate departments, different faculty. And, I believe, neither will we some day in the future.
“All things came into being through the Word,” the Gospel says, “and without the Word, not one thing came into being. What has come into being in the Word was life and that life was the light of all people.”
It’s an ancient text that’s trying to make sense of reality—science and philosophy and theology overlapping. The author’s glimpsed something as big, as revolutionary, as epic as what Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein saw, something that changes everything.
Trouble is, as with other breakthroughs, the vision would be met with enormous skepticism, hostility, and rejection . . .
A sermon exploring violence, masculinity, and religious belief, and a way we can break the pattern of bloodshed, tyranny, and harassment.
Genesis 9.8-17 / Mark 1.9-15 First Sunday of Lent 2018
Today is the first Sunday of Lent—a weekend marred once again by a tragic shooting in an American school. On a weekend like this, in the midst of a troubled world, our readings offer astonishing and timely wisdom.
The text from Genesis is the conclusion to the story of the rise of violence, the Great Flood, and God’s rescue of Noah and the creatures. And here at the end of the story, God makes a covenant with the Earth, never again to destroy life on the planet. God says, “I have hung up my bow”. God hung up his bow—the bow, a symbol of warfare and violence and killing. “I have hung up my bow in the clouds,” said God, and whenever we see the rainbow in the clouds after a fearsome storm, we can remember the day God said, “never again shall I destroy what lives on the Earth.”
And this is what I saw—
in radiant delight,
up from the dark depths of Mystery.
The night sky, clear;
the moon full,
casting its silver light across
the whale-fractured sea.
she crashes, full length.
A million silver shards
dancing their holy glee.
into the dark, silent depths,
to soak in Thee.
pray like some dead fish
in this, God’s sea?
That’s what prayer is meant to be.
chris neufeld-erdman, from December 31, 2008