God Can't Be Kept Out

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's a pretty common issue every year around this time:

"Keep the CHRIST in Christmas."

But this year, in light of recent events, blame is rampant.

If only we had kept "under God" in the pledge of allegiance...
If only we had allowed prayer in schools....
If only...

...As if God is somehow punishing those kids and their families for the laws set in place by their government.

Or worse- that those laws actually erect some kind of invisible barrier that, try as He might, God just can't seem to penetrate.

Call me emergent, but I just don't think that's how God works.

"God can be wherever God wants to be. God needs no formal invitation. We couldn’t “systematically remove” God if we tried.

If the incarnation teaches us anything, it’s that God can be found everywhere: in a cattle trough, on a throne, among the poor, with the sick, on a donkey, in a fishing boat, with the junkie, with the prostitute, with the hypocrite, with the forgotten, in places of power, in places of oppression, in poverty, in wealth, where God’s name is known, where it is unknown, with our friends, with our enemies, in our convictions, in our doubts, in life, in death, at the table, on the cross, and in every kindergarten classroom from Sandy Hook to Shanghai. "

-Rachel Held Evans

I encourage you to read the rest of Rachel's article here

I for one believe that prayer should be kept in schools, that the name of God should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance and on our money, and yes, that we should remember what Christmas is truly about.  But I also believe that we should not make God so small that we think we have any power to control where He is and will be.

Our Hearts Are Heavy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

For children we never knew.
For families we'll never meet.
For a society in which we fear raising our own unborn children.
For a world that yearns for a Better Future, yet which we are reminded daily is still in the clutches of evil.

I recommend this article to everyone who may wonder how to properly console. We will all face devastation of some sort at some point in our lives, and we will also all be given opportunities to console others in devastating circumstances. It is very important that we know how to do it well.

Dealing With Grief: What NOT to Say

I leave you with this food for thought from Morgan Freeman. It's really harsh, to be sure. But it is true and poignant.

“You want to know why {these shootings keep happening}. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."