One of my favorite passages in Scripture is 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10. In these verses, the Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse into the life a church that he is especially thankful for. In describing what it is that he appreciates about this church, Paul has provided us with an ecclesial pattern worthy of imitation. In […]
American exceptionalism is the notion that America is special among the nations. This notion has deep theological roots, tracing at least as a far back as John Withrop’s famous “A Model of Christian Charity” sermon in 1630 during which he cast a vision for his fellow Massachusetts Bay colonists to embrace their role in establishing a “city upon a hill” – an image taken directly from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14).
As we wait, we find that we are located. But where are we? We are not situated in a place in which to settle, but rather, a place in which to roam. For those who have been born of the Spirit and united with the Son, our home is not here in this world. Instead, it is there, in a far country – a land unreachable by human effort or ingenuity.
The holiday season (which is well under way) seems to carry with it a sense of longing for something we call “home.” Now, being home, of course, is about something more than just being in a particular place. No, more than that, it’s about being with particular people.
When you receive the call to pastor a local church, you also are called to minister to that community. You never fully know what will occur in that community, but you know you better be ready. When shots rang out at the campus of Umpqua Community College on October 1st, 2015, local pastors in Roseburg, OR were challenged with how to respond.