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?

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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?

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Night Shift

Jesus sought these three men out. Before he was teaching on the banks of the Sea of Galilee they were a group of business partners who had a bad night at work. Before Jesus stepped into Simon’s boat, Simon was just a guy trying to clean his fishing gear and go home. But that’s the way discipleship works. Before you or I decided to be a follower of Jesus, Jesus revealed the awesome abundance of G-d.

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Epiphany

Like the magi, we approach the manger not knowing all of the answers. We approach the manger not having all of the junk in our lives we continue to carry with us not quite figured out. We approach the light of the manger still struggling to over come the curse of sin that we fall back into no matter how many times we think we have overcome it. 

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Best of 2018

What does 2019 hold? Time will only tell, but you can be sure it will include more posts about my kids on Facebook, sermons focused solely on the grace of G-d, and graduation (again) from Wesley Theological Seminary. You can keep up with all these exciting things by ‘Liking’ my Facebook Page and by also subscribing to ‘Brewing Theology’ on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Let All Creation Praise Emmanuel

The reality of what happened in Emmanuel laying in the manger is found in those who had forgotten or ignored the promise made by G-d. The good news changes the reality for all people, and invites all of creation to enter into the grace of G-d regardless of what the powerful say. Regardless of what the darkness of sin says. 

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Let All Creation Praise the Particular

This is what makes the Good News different from the promise of security and peace offered to us by empires and the elite. The Good News of Emmanuel is a particular promise available and revealed through particular yet unlikely means, in particular yet unlikely places, and at particular yet unlikely times. We can expect the Good News to be revealed to us through powerful kings and prophets but also through those we are told are not capable of bearing such a promise and those who had forgotten the promise all together. 

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Let All Creation Repent

The preparation John is calling for is a change in orientation, not pointing to guilt or shame, but instead facing in a new direction. A direction that allows the refiner’s fire to burn away the damage sin has done to creation and then live in the hopefully light of the coming Christ.

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Let All Creation Praise the Paradox

While we look at this season of anticipating a birth we have to also remember that Christ has already been born, and we now live as a Church awaiting his return and with his return the fullness of the Kingdom of G-d will be made known to us.

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