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Already and Not Yet

Reflect on our role in God's restorative work, and recognize both renewal and continued brokenness. Be encouraged by stories of challenges and successes in the pursuit of shalom.

It All Started When My Car Blew Up

It was an early morning during the second week of August, a typical day like most others. I said goodbye to my family, then drove away. My destination, a conference in Wyoming, MI. Driving along US 131-South, and making good time, I heard a loud noise, and saw a dense cloud of black smoke in my rearview mirror. I knew there was something seriously wrong. By the grace of God, I made it onto the 44th Street exit where the van stopped at the exit light.  

The Olive Trees of Cremisan

On the last afternoon of Christ at the Checkpoint conference several hundred of us stood on the ancient, stony terraces among the olive trees to celebrate a Eucharist of solidarity with the people of Beit Jala (pronounced ‘bait-yala’) –Bethlehem’s smaller sister. It was icy cold and rainy. “Why don’t we do this inside the nice warm monastery?” I thought to myself.

I would find out why a little later.

Bearing Testimony and Honoring Story

We have come to Kenya (on the We Have Faith Environmental Expedition) to hear our brothers and sisters bear witness to the ways environmental degradation and recent changes in the climate are harming them. Their testimony is disturbing and compelling. We are privileged to hear their stories, and honored by their trust in us as bearers of the message that they and their land, water, and air are suffering. Their words are a painful reminder of the brokenness of our world.

Hungry for Change: Fasting for Climate Justice

I have decided to fast on the first day of every month in solidarity with vulnerable people who are going hungry as the impacts of climate change worsen. I’m joining this global action as a way to prepare myself for — and participate in — the necessary changes that a more hospitable and just planetary existence demands.

A Justice Confession

Longing for justice is a struggle to which God calls us. As NT Wright says, “Christians...have heard, deep within themselves, the echo of a voice which calls us to live [with a dream for justice].” But behind the call for justice there is a little secret, something I don’t think we like to admit.

The Sanctuary at 1700 28th Street

I had to re-read the opening sentence of the news report: “Meeting in the sanctuary of the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s headquarters, a coalition of Michigan fruit and vegetable growers said their crops are rotting in the fields because U.S. immigration policy lacks a workable system for migrant workers.”

The Baby in the Barn and the Lamb who was Slain

At the tail end of this season of Advent people seem to have more emotional space for attention to both the brokenness of the world and the hope hidden in Christ. 

The Difficult Work of “With”

two pairs of empty shoes

Sara Miles wrote a piece for the Episcopal Café entitled “The Most Important Word in the Bible.” That word, claims Miles, is “with.” “With” is central to God’s Trinitarian nature and relationship to us. It is also central to our calling as followers of Christ. It is the most important word in the Bible. But “with” is a difficult role for us to live out.

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Brutal and Beautiful Truth

Our colleague Shannon Perez has a habit of asking zinger questions. As five of us colleagues sat in a Skype circle debriefing our experience of the Vancouver Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) she asked us:

Equipped with the testimonies of the survivors, what in your life will you turn way from, and what will you turn towards God? How will you back this repentance up with action?

See what I mean by zinger? Shannon’s point is actually pretty simple – we can’t come away from the experience of a TRC and its brutal and beautiful truths unchanged.   

Loving my Neighbour on the Rink

I had two favorite days growing up: Christmas and the day the NHL playoffs started. It used to be so much easier to love hockey and the more Don Cherry rock-em-sock-em the better.

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