Friday, April 24, 2015

[an example of the eucharist as the great leveler]

Even when people line up for the Eucharist instead of it taking place around a table, the Eucharist can expand our moral circles.

Here's an example where what was happening up front, impacted one of the parishioners still in the pew:

Read Rachel Held Evans' commentary related to the Eucharist and this video.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the eucharist as the great leveler

richard beck preaching about the last supper. words paraphrased from Unclean p. 114. cartoon by rob g

When was the last time you heard that from the pulpit? And what kind of response do you think such a statement would get?

In his book Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality, Richard Beck says:
...the Last Supper is a profoundly deep and powerful psychological intervention.
The Last Supper becomes a profoundly subversive political event in the lives of the participants. The sacrament brings real people - divided in the larger world - into a sweaty, intimate, flesh-and-blood embrace where "there shall be no difference between them and the rest."
(p. 114)

Beck also talks about the Eucharist as the great leveler.

Monday, April 20, 2015

subvert the moral circle!

If you have not seen my previous post about moral circles, read this first and then this.

boundary diagrams: backyard, walled city, moral circle. by robg

The concept of the moral circle makes for a great diagram, and can be thought of as "going around me and my family," kind of like a fence around your backyard with you and your family happily inside it, and those who are "not family" (like strangers and stray dogs) kept outside. Kind of like the walls that used to encircle towns and cities in medieval times.

Jesus subverts the boundary-oriented moral circle...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

on the 7,665,716,806th day...

god created you beautiful! cartoon by robg

Do you think that the last time God looked at what he made and said it was "very good" was the sixth day of creation?

Not a chance. When he created you, he said, "Very good!" "Beautiful!" "Wow, will you look at that!"

Thursday, April 09, 2015

[if this is an issue for anyone...]

An aboriginal person and their daughter are looking to rent a room, and this phrase in their kijiji ad caught my eye.

We ARE OF aboriginal descent if this is an issue for anyone...

It suggests that the following scenario has previously taken place, and too many times:
They posted an ad which did not mention that they are aboriginal.
Someone responded positively by telephone.
They went to look at the room.
When the landlord saw them, the room was suddenly no longer available.
And so now, they give a heads up in their ad so that their time isn't wasted.

How many other people do the same? How many others have gotten used to "giving warning", or simply avoiding places where they expect to be rejected?

And what can those of us who follow Jesus, do to make it obvious that everyone truly is welcome and wanted?

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

will there be chocolate in heaven?

And for some, a more important question: will there be sex in heaven?

As always, Jesus has an answer:

Rabbi, will there be sex in heaven?  -- here's why not. cartoon by robg

They say there's nothing new under the sun, but if you google the word "acopulyptic", you won't get any results except from this post once Google indexes it. That's my word, folks!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

[Dear White Christians... ]

Dear White Christians by Jennifer Harvey. Book cover
Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation:
"Outlines a new paradigm for American race relations and for achieving racial justice

In this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race. She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm.

Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement, and she shows the necessity of bringing "white" racial identity into clear view in order to counter today's oppressive social structures.

A deeply constructive, hopeful work, Dear White Christians will help readers envision new racial possibilities, including concrete examples of contemporary reparations initiatives. This book is for any who care about the gospel call to justice but feel stuck trying to get there, given the ongoing prevalence of deep racial divisions in the church and society at large.:
(from the publishers' page)

Catch Jennifer Harvey, the author, talking about the book in this video. Comparison of reconciliation and reparation starts around the 5 minute mark.

Read more about the book, including reviews, at the publisher's page.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

god's tired of the same old thing...

God, contrary to what one might expect from observing some of God's followers, is very much into thinking. And having thought more about the upcoming bus ad campaign by the Edmonton Atheists Society, God has issued another statement:

Portion of Michelangelo's painting with some text by Edmonton Atheist Society bus ad, with response by God(added by rob g

Check out God's previous response 1 and previous response 2.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

god has more thoughts about being erased

After a good night's sleep, God has further thoughts on being erased by the Edmonton Atheist Society:

Edmonton Atheist Society bus ad, with further response by God (added by rob g)

Check out God's previous response.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

god relieved by erasure

Here in Edmonton, the atheist society is about to start a bus ad campaign claiming it's good to be godless.

Here is God's response:

Edmonton atheists society bus ad, with (possible) god's response added by robg.

Christian Post article about the ad campaign.

Original ad as seen at

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

abandon the moral circle

If you have not seen my previous post about moral circles, read this first and then this.

abandon the moral circle. drawing by robg

How to bring the not-kin into the circle?
with arms wide open

How to move myself out of the circle?

follow jesus out of it

How to make the circle disappear?

love your neighbour and your enemy

Some thoughts about addressing our moral circle:

Identify the general location of your moral circle.

Act across the moral circle.

Weave connections across the circle.

Expand the moral circle.

Step out of the moral circle.

Step over the moral circle.

Live as if the moral circle does not exist.
(This essentially destroys the moral circle, as I only have one if I let it exist, if I live like it does...)

And that's what Jesus does, isn't it?

Jesus acts across the boundaries that others would want him to have, he steps out of the expectations of kin versus not-kin, he lives as if the moral circle does not exist... loving everyone, friends and enemies alike.