Christianity: A Total Life System

A pastor friend of mine, a Zambian, recently wrote that he had just returned from Zimbabwe where he was invited to attend a workshop on climate change and environmental impact. Lawrence and his Zambian team visited a settlement of 167 families just outside Harare. They were discussing the effects of climate and environmental change with these families, especially the issue of erratic rainfall. When the team asked the reasons for this change of rain pattern a young woman responded, “Previously, we used to invoke ancestral spirits for rainfall and they answered by giving us adequate rain, today we pray to the Christian God and because most church leaders are insincere God is not answering our prayers.” Continue reading “Christianity: A Total Life System”

Kissing is a Choice

Valentine’s Day advertisements this week were filled with kisses which got me to doing a little research. The word “to kiss” in the Anglo-Saxon, German, and Dutch is related to the word “to choose.” There is a deliberateness implied in the very nature of the word. It is also interesting that in almost every culture, kissing has something to do with breathing, or the sucking in of air- stay with me here. Even in those cultures which rub noses or faces instead of kissing, there is still the intake of air which accompanies the act. Apparently this is related to the ancient belief that a person’s soul or spirit is contained in the breath, Continue reading “Kissing is a Choice”

Who is to Blame?

Many people in our church have been so kind and sympathetic (like the person who sent me the picture to the left) because of the New England Patriots loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl (again) this past Sunday. A few of these folks have actually been sincere. Alas, we Pats fans blame it on so many things: from Madonna to M.I.A.’s gesture; to fact that the refs did not restore 8 seconds on the clock after the Giants “flagrant” 12-men on the field penalty. There was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday that one of my “sincere” parishioners gave me. It analyzed the last bizarre minute of the most watched sporting event in television and internet history. Continue reading “Who is to Blame?”

What Do You See When You See?

Do we see each other? What I mean is, when we look at each other do we really “see” each other? Have you ever had the experience of looking at a restaurant menu yet not really seeing it until you got down to business and made yourself focus? It is often the case when we deal with one another. “Hey, how are you doing?” “Oh, I’m fine, thanks.” “Great!” You know those conversations we have in the church lobby which seem to epitomize much of what we have come to know as “fellowship.” We look at each other, but really don’t see each other. I thought of this because of a story I read in the Chicago Tribune about an older gentleman who was found frozen to death in his home last winter. His name was John Pietraszek and he lived alone with twenty cats on the South Side, in the same house where he grew up. He was a friendly but reclusive 80-year old man who never allowed anyone into his home. Continue reading “What Do You See When You See?”