Those of us living in twenty-first century America find ourselves in a culture obsessed with the heroic. The popularity of the current spate of superhero movies, which shows no sign of going away any time soon, is perhaps the most flamboyant manifestation. But the issue is even more pervasive, extending to heroes of all kinds: sports heroes, war heroes, even the “everyday” heroes featured at the ends of newscasts.
Justice with equity is something that I expect from God (Deuteronomy 32:4). It is beyond the ability of any human or human institution to provide it, thus our hope should never rest in any human institution.
Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.
We’re glad to say that last year’s conference was not just a one-off, but that a second annual Canvas Conference is planned for August 11th-12th, again in Portland, OR.
By taking off the pressure of having to excel, we allow ourselves to live in the moment. Released from the burden of needing to be better than good, needing to claw our way to the top, hit the sermon out of the park, we can relax a bit.