With the mounting racial tensions in today’s social, political, and religious climates, the Church needs to function as a facilitator for reconciliation. Unfortunately, Christians have tended to approach the issue of reconciliation with apathy in recent years. How can we as Christians overcome these sentiments and ignite change both within and without the Church? Furthermore, why are churches especially equipped to serve as agents of reconciliation within our society?
University campuses are buzzing, students have been moving in and getting settled, parents are either celebrating sending out their child into the wide world of academia or uncontrollably sobbing the inevitable empty nest and how “they grow up so fast”. For us here at ECCLESIAM, however, it means that summer break is over, professors are getting back into the swing of their teaching schedules, and quite a lot has happened over the summer that needs to be discussed, dissected, and parsed. With so much going on within the world and the church, what needs to be talked about?
Rest. As a practice this word remains irrelevant to some people, and it occupies a marginal amount of space in the lives of others. We barely need to look around us to recognize how busyness is ingrained into not only what we do, but also virtually into who we are. How can we take time to step back from working, and reflect on the “daily grind”?
Many people, especially those who are dealing with loss within their family due to sickness, natural disasters, accidents, and more, are trying to comprehend God in light of their experiences. This is the struggle we find in Fry’s comments. He is trying to take what he has heard from the Church and from Scripture and make sense of it in light of the evil and suffering we see around us all the time. How then can we as Christians respond to those who struggle with the reality of evil in our world today?
Guidance, knowledge, and wisdom as ongoing processes are critical elements within the dynamics of mentoring and discipling. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus models a deeply personal style of leadership by investing into the lives of his disciples through empowerment and wise counsel. Similarly, how is the Church today to follow and continue this practice of mentoring and discipleship?
I believe we can think of our lives as an integration between physical and spiritual qualities. There is an all-important point to keep in mind in our discussion and that is that “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). However, in what ways can this understanding of God affect business decisions?
One of Donne’s more famous poems is “At the round earth’s imagined corners.” This title, also its opening line, demonstrates a hallmark of his poetry–the ability to combine elements of our experienced world (“the round earth”) with powerful and often Biblical imagery (its “imagin’d corners,” a reference to Revelation 7:1) to produce startling insights into the relationship between this world and the next. But what exactly connects the vast and expansive “there” of heaven with the lowly “here” of earth and what are the practical implications for our lives as Christians?
Let’s face it. Social media is the language of our generation. Within the last decade, technological advancements have exploded to provide us all with the capacity to present the highlights of our lives, and access to the highlights of other people’s lives. The selective information we take in deeply affects the way we perceive not only ourselves and other people, but especially our perceptions of ministry. How can we maintain a healthy understanding of ministry in light of its glorified presentation in social media today?
Families are close to God’s heart. Scripture reveals that from the very beginning God brought individuals together through family relationships. These relationships have great potential for demonstrating the love of God to the world, specifically when families join together in a church community. The necessity of these relationships makes it critical for the church to be intentional about helping families connect. How can our churches help families become better connected?
With the connectedness of the online world, we can use social media as a platform for community, not as our only source, but as a support mechanism to be a catalyst for new friendships and connections. One can not negate the importance of social media but still must acknowledge the fact that it is not a mere one-for-one substitute for face-to-face community. How do you find the balance between your community online and your community in day-to-day life?