No, Follow Christ

The calling extended to Peter, “Follow me,” is the same calling extended to each of us when we emerge from our baptismal waters. This calling - “Follow Me” -  is an invitation to meet Christ at his table, but “Follow me” is also an invitation to experience the fullness of the freedom extended to us by the power of Jesus’ Easter victory - the final victory over our captivity to sin and death.

Read More
Belief, Not Doubt

Faith that comes from the peace of Christ is not something we do or attain on our own.  We see throughout Christ’s ministry, death, and now in the aftermath of the resurrection - in the light of the empty tomb - faithfulness in places where our own faithfulness falls short. Regardless of our demands for signs to subside our doubts the faithfulness of Christ provides us with the peace we need.

Read More
Collision Course

The shadow of the cross blinds us to the peace of heaven spilling over into creation. Domination through ruthlessness - Pax Roma - is no match for the justice and mercy - Pax Christi - of the Kingdom of God. 

Read More
Make A New Thing With All Your Heart

The Lord is telling Israel, “yes I did a new thing in bringing you out of slavery. And yes, you are being provided for in a barren land where not even the wild beasts can survive. I know it is hard for you to see it because you have become hardened by life but if you could just look at the world with possibility and joy you will see the best is yet to come.”

Read More
Come Together With All Your Heart

Christ’s resurrection, overcoming the power and defeat of death, is what has made us able to live in the newness of what G-d is creating. Resurrection was and is divine transformation and renewed our relationship, humanity’s relationship, with our Creator. 

Read More
Rogue Saints

The world is full of good-hearted heathens, those who love people and those who want to do good in the world. They're not against God--they just have little use for church. Church is boring and hypocritical. Plus, who wants to sit through a sermon every week? But while organized religion doesn't appeal to them, these heathens long for a connection to something bigger than themselves: meaning, community, mission.

Read More
Repent With All Your Heart

At its most basic level, repentance changes the way we behave in and view the world. Instead of our own perception, we begin to see the world as Christ does. When we want to focus on sin and judgment, Jesus invites us to look at the world differently. Jesus had/has a Kingdom view of the world and in his invitation to repent, he is extending citizenship in his kingdom to us, the citizens of Rome. 

Read More
Teer HardyComment
Imitate With All Your Heart

Paul wrote to a church in Philippi contending with issues of arrogance and disunity.  Arrogance and disunity act as prohibitors to imitating Christ’s love as a community. Arrogance and disunity were distractions, and Paul extended grace to the Philippians by reminding them of what the love of G-d in Christ had accomplished.

Read More
Wander and Wonder With All Your Heart

During the season of Lent, we are wandering our way to the cross and empty tomb. It is a season where we wonder what will happen next. Will disagreements keep us divided? Will we continue to legislate Law in a way contrary to Paul’s declaration that Everyone who calls on the name of” Jesus will be saved?

Read More
Being A Christian Doesn’t Mean Obsessing Over Someone Else’s Sexuality

Now that the sting of the UMC Special General Conference is not as fresh, what is next? How can those who are dissatisfied with the work done by the delegates in St Louis organize and be better prepared for GC2020?

Read More
Image Problem

Mainline denominations have known about their image problem for at least a decade. It’s why money has been poured into campaign efforts like, “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” As more and more people no longer see the necessity to be connected to a faith community, headlines in the New York Times and Washington Post have not helped Methodists make their sales pitch.

Read More
Teer HardyComment
You Can't Legislate Away Grace

It is Transfiguration Sunday, the day we recall the fullness of Jesus’ identity being revealed and confirmed, connecting Jesus with the liberators and prophets of Israel’s past. While little of what happened in a once indoor NFL stadium resembled a group of people following Jesus, today, a few days removed from General Conference, Jesus is still the transfigured Messiah, guiding his disciples down the mountain, heading towards the cross. 

Read More
Because Beth Moore is Their Pastor

Not all young people are progressive. There is no mainline church anymore/Congregations are now part of the great sort. Crackers & Grape Juice debriefed the Special General Conference of the UMC with Emma Green, the religion writer for The Atlantic.

Read More
Teer HardyComment
Closed Hearts, Closed Minds, Closed Doors.

The United Methodist church has been home for me for almost half of my life, all of my adult life. I’ve never felt like an outcast or an outsider. I’ve been welcomed into stranger’s homes because of our commonality of being a United Methodist. I’ve baptized our children in the United Methodist church. I’ve debated theology and polity, I’ve asked hard questions, and every single time it’s been welcomed with open minds and thoughtful consideration.

Read More