Showing posts from February, 2011

"God does not know how to be absent"

"Most of us experience throughout most of our lives a sense of absence or distance from God" -- agree or disagree? I have to agree. I have been very serious about my life with God for many years, and I will struggle with feeling distant from him. Can you relate? I tend to think this says more about us than it does about God. In other words, when we feel distance from him, it isn't because he has gone somewhere. It's because we have not been paying attention to his presence.

To sharpen the point, Martin Laird writes, “God does not know how to be absent. The fact that most of us experience throughout most of our lives a sense of absence or distance from God is the great illusion we are caught up in; it is the human condition” (Into the Silent Lands, p. 15). Think about how it changes the way we approach all sorts of daily situations when we live out of the illusion that God is absent or distant.

Now try something today. Chew on this thought -- that "God does not kno…

A window into what made Jesus tick

Want a window into Jesus' psyche? Want to know what made him tick -- his thought processes and how he made decisions? Check out two stories early on in the Gospel of Mark, both having to do with the Sabbath.

The first story is Mark 2:23-28. Jesus and his disciples are walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath day, and Jesus allows his disciples to pick the heads of wheat and eat. The problem is that "processing" the kernels, which amounted to picking them and separating the edible kernel from the rest of the head, constituted working on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were watching, and they caught him and his disciples red-handed, so to speak. The Pharisees questioned him on it, and Jesus' reply opens a window into how he thought and why he was so different from the Pharisees. The issue to the Pharisees was that Jesus was breaking the law. The code and the system were the paramount concerns of the Pharisees. They believed that God would most want to see the Israeli…

Snowpocalypse 2011

Snowpocalypse. Snowmageddon. Tyrranasnowus Rex. That is what people are calling the Great Blizzard of 2011, which has raged through the Midwest while I have been in Chicago for the Covenant Midwinter pastors’ conference. Well, maybe not that many people are using such totally awesome terms for the Blizzard, but I think they should. Great blizzards need great names. We pastors have survived the blizzard, mostly because we have hardly gone outside. Thank God for large hotels with great amenities.