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We Know How the Story Ends

Though we Christians do not know the story of God's providence in all its details, we do know that it is a divine comedy. This is because, in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we know what God intends for his whole creation. Life does indeed triumph over death; hope does indeed conquer despair; God is indeed victor and ruler.

The Downward Momentum of the Son of God

The Word entered into our flesh in order to bring the love and justice of God even to the darkest places. Jesus stands shoulder to shoulder with sinners in the waters of the Jordan, and, at the end of his ministry, he goes into the pain and anguish of death itself in order to save us.

Scapegoating

The New Testament frequently explores the scapegoating violence of the mob, nowhere more insightfully than in the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus stops the momentum of the violent crowd and forces them to see their own sin.

Between Fear and Complacency

The healthy religious life is lived out between fear and complacency. If the excessive fear of God was a problem years ago, a complacent attitude seems far more pervasive and dangerous today. What the Bible says consistently is "don't be afraid: so get going!"

Resident Aliens

We Christians, as Paul reminds us, have our citizenship in heaven. This means that, here below, we are "resident aliens," at work in the world, but our eyes fixed on a transcendent goal. This makes us, paradoxically enough, the best friends the world ever had.

The Three Paths of Holiness

The Bible rather consistently lays out three ways walked by the man or woman of holiness: finding the center, knowing you're a sinner, and realizing your life is not about you. All of these are beautifully presented in the story of the call of Simon.

Christ-ening

Baptism is literally a Christ-ening, a turning of someone into Christ. This means that all baptized people must assume the three-fold office of Jesus: priest (sanctifier), king (leader), and prophet (speaker of the truth).

The Living Body of the Church

The Church of Jesus Christ is not a club, not a social organization, not a collectivity of like-minded people. Rather, it is a living organism, a body composed of interdependent cells and molecules.

The Wedding of Heaven and Earth

When Jesus appears at the Wedding Feast of Cana, he signals the marriage of heaven and earth. When God moves into our experience, he transfigures humanity, elevating art, philosophy, science and politics into bearers of the sacred. He changes the water of earth into the wine of heaven.

Gospel Family Values

When the Gospels talk about families, we might be a bit surprised. There is nothing sentimental in the Biblical vision of families. They are seen, not as ends in themselves, but as training grounds for the work of the Kingdom.