A prayer for our times

Righteous Lord God, you love justice and hate evil, and you care for the weak, vulnerable, needy, and the oppressed. Bless our country and its leaders with the wisdom of righteousness and peace. May they secure the right of protection for the unborn, equality of educational opportunities for the young, work for the unemployed, health care for the sick, and food for the hungry. Help management and labor to cooperate for the common good, giving honest work and receiving a fair wage. Deliver our land from all tribal, social, and religious strife, and make our national life more pleasing in your holy sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Stott, J. (2018). The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott. (M. Meynell, Ed.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Jen Pollock Michel on the limits of public intellectuals

To satiate the ravenous demands of digital readers, a public intellectual today might easily ignore the limits of her knowledge and attempt to become as boundary-less as the unbounded waters of the internet…

As believers, we affirm one of the paradoxes of the human condition put this way by G. K. Chesterton: We are “chief of creatures” but creatures nonetheless. We are called to do good work courageously and faithfully, and part of our courage and faithfulness involves admitting the responsibilities that do and do not belong to us.

God isn’t taking applications for Messiah; he’s already sent one. Accordingly, let’s give to our public intellectuals the permission to say more about less. 

Jen Pollock Michel

The Discipline of Reconciliation

Photo by Redd Angelo on Unsplash

Antagonism is that spirit of opposition that seems so prevalent in society today. The world runs on antagonism, says David Fitch. Do any of us really disagree? Us vs. them seems to be the default worldview in our culture; indeed in most cultures. This is of course a direct result of the Fall. It started with the very first family, when, as result of sin (not as part of the Divine Plan) God says to Eve that her desire will be for her husband but he will rule over her (Gen. 3:16).

It continued with many heartbreaking examples from the Old Testament. The estrangement between Joseph and his brothers, the relational and power struggle between David and Saul, even the bickering among the disciples all stand out as examples of an antagonistic world view continuing even into the New Testament.

If you want to see antagonism in the present time, check the news. Continue reading The Discipline of Reconciliation

10 brief thoughts on getting paid as a priest

Preface: I’m not saying here every senior pastor must be paid, or be full time, or that full-time, paid pastors are even necessarily optimal in every situation. There are pros and cons to the various ways of supporting clergy, and that’s what this is about. Continue reading 10 brief thoughts on getting paid as a priest

The discipline of the Lord’s Table

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

The discipline of coming together regularly around the Lord’s Table helps us return to Christ and trains us to tend to Christ’s presence not just here, but everywhere we find ourselves during the week.

Think about some of what we do every time we gather around the table: Continue reading The discipline of the Lord’s Table