As I write this dispatch the first real snow of the season has been falling. This must be a sign that Advent and Christmas are upon us. This is a busy season for all. It’s easy to get distracted from the message of the season, which is that God has come into our midst to bring new life and new hope to our lives. Many of the themes of the season are drawn from the sections of Isaiah that offer a word of hope to a people living in exile. God is heard promising deliverance. Broken lives will be restored to wholeness.
The outcome of the grand jury verdict to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of an unarmed 18 year-old African American male was met with sadness, anger and despair by many. Some of these emotions expressed themselves in unaccountable rage that resulted in property destruction and theft. Rage is justified. Violence and looting is not. The parents of Michael Brown urged protesters to engage in a non-violent response to the decision. Protestor across the country, obliged their request.
There are a myriad of devotional texts that will guide you through the year, bringing insight and inspiration. Among these many choices is a series of books that are based on the lectionary commentary series, Feasting on the Word.http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=pondonafaitjo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0664237134This series, published by series of lectionary commentaries From Westminster John Knox Press and edited by David Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor has proven to be quite beneficial, bringing together commentary from four perspectives -- theological, pastoral, exegetical, and homiletical. Daily Feast, now available for Year A of the lectionary cycle, brings the insights of this series to the devotional reader.
On September 1, Cheryl and I attended worship at Rochester Church of Christ. Thus began a three month sabbatical journey that I have entitled “Reclaiming a Founding Vision.” Tomorrow morning I’ll be “back to work” at Central Woodward Christian Church. I return rested and ready to take up the calling of serving as pastor of Central Woodward, along with my other responsibilities in the church and community. I’ve been fortunate to have this opportunity, provided by the church, an opportunity that I encourage colleagues to take up themselves
I write to share a word with all Disciples congregations following an important vote at the 2013 Orlando General Assembly. In these days following assembly,my heart is prayerful; my spirit hopeful; and my love for our church is strong. Surely, God has given Disciples a blessing and a mission for wholeness,welcoming all to the Lord's Table of reconciliation and love.