Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two Years..

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" -1 Corinthians 15:55

Through death comes life. Because of the victory we have through Christ's death and resurrection, days like today don't have to be filled with deep sadness. I'm sad yes, Jason was one of my best friends and he will always be missed. However, two years ago there was victory as Jason went to be with his heavenly Father.

Today I'm reminded of the lives that Jason saved through his decision to be an organ donor. Through his earthly death, there has sprung up new life. His story, life, and spirit is very much alive. And for that I'm thankful.

This by no means encapsulates his entire life, but here are some good pictures (click here) from his foundations website.

Also: Ray of Hope

Friday, March 20, 2009

Servant God

"Here we see what compassion means. It is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary, compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there. God's compassion ts total, absolute, unconditional, without reservation. It is the compassion of the one who keeps going to the most forgotten corners of the world, and who cannot rest as long as there are still human beings with tears in their eyes. It is the compassion of a God who does not merely act as a servant, but who expresses the divinity of God through servanthood." -Henri Nouwen

Jesus' compassion is characterized by a downward pull. He came not to be served but to serve. He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.

It's hard to wrap your mind around that when it seems like an 'upward pull' and upward mobility is what we're all about and what we strive for in life. Sometimes I wish following Jesus was easier. But therein lies the mystery of the Christian life.. that if we lose our life for Jesus and for the gospel, that we will actually find life (Mark 8:35). And that's not some twisted oxymoron either, because as Henri Nouwen puts it, the downward pull is not a movement away from God, but a movement toward God.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's worth the time.

"...Now I've read through the bible a couple of times and I have yet to find a single passage that talks about the right to bear arms. Now don't get me wrong, that's a constitutional ammendment. I'm not opposed to the right to bear arms, I'm just saying that I have yet to find a single reference in the bible that says we have the right to bear arms. However, I have found over a hundred passages that talk about showing care, compassion, justice, and mercy for the alien and the immigrant among us. Now my question is, when I walk into a typical evangelical church, why and I more likely to find members of the NRA than I am to find members who are concerned about immigration reform? Is that a cultural Christianity based upon western white culture or is that a biblical Christianity? We are held captive to the western white cultural captivity of the church." -Dr. Soong Chan Rah

This was from the last CCDA plenary session. It was a powerful message, especially if you've (like me) grown up in this kind of western white church that he talks about.

To find and listen to the whole message click here (it's pretty long though) or you can borrow the DVD from me.. it's worth your time.