Breathe on Us Breath of God

My grandfather attended the Newport News Apprentice School soon after the First World War. He then went to work for the Newport News Shipbuilding Corporation, where he worked his entire life. His closest friends were made on the job. He was a part of a community that he cared about and that cared about him. I am sure that a few of you can tell a similar vocational story, but not too many people in America can do so today. The refrain of the old labor song, says, “We shall not be, we shall not be moved!” A more apt labor refrain today would say, “We shall not, no, we shall not remain.” Church sociologist and old friend, Loren Mead observes that “in town after town, company after company . . .

First Love

Those who read the Bible with some regularity often stop before the last book. Skipping over Revelation is an age-old sport in the church. Nearly seventeen hundred years ago, Cyril of Jerusalem forbade the reading of Revelation in public and private. Some early church leaders wanted to replace Revelation with one of the extra gospels left behind, like the Gospels of Peter or Thomas or Judas. Maybe it was not these extra Gospels, but the Book of Revelation that should have been left behind. For all intents and purposes, in mainline worship and life, it has. Maybe that is a good thing. Revelation’s vivid depiction of natural calamities, cruel torture, and cosmic battles is confusing and chaoti

Coming Home?

As a freshly minted young pastor out of Seminary, my first major job was to help organize the annual church Homecoming. It was a huge event that always happened on the first Sunday of November. Since most members of that congregation were interrelated, the annual Homecoming was actually one big family reunion. So, naturally, I obsessed for quite some time about how to preach a family reunion sermon. As a Christian, my first fallback was to check in with Jesus. Surely, he had some good family reunion things to say. Well, in fact, not so much. Brian Blount goes so far as to suggest: “Jesus is probably the last person on the planet you’d want to go to in order to get some advice about preaching

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