1. Love in real life
My lovely wife wrote a great piece for Christianity Today’s This Is Our City project, telling the story of Chris and Bethany, a Phoenix-area couple who are committed to loving their neighbors — as in, the actual people next door:
In order to love one’s neighbors, one must first know who they are—a teaching that’s much easier said than done in a place like Phoenix… But one couple at Sage Stone has a vision for something different, and they think Christians should make it a reality. They wonder what would happen if Christians in Phoenix met new residents with a friendly smile and an invitation into relationship. Is it possible they could upend Phoenix’s loner culture?
Buechner’s gut-level honesty—both about his own spiritual failings and doubts and about Christ’s attractive/repulsive call on our lives—has gained him a loyal following among the warts-and-all crowd. I just started rereading The Book of Bebb, Buechner’s delightfully earthy yet heaven-gazing tetralogy about a couple of con artists (a preacher and his alleged apprentice) who bumble into faith and grace. And it fills me with hope for the state of “Christian” art and with joy over the way Christ’s salvation can sneak into the tiniest cracks in our armor and seep into our souls without us even realizing it, until it’s too late, and we wake up saved, wondering how we got here.
3. Never The Same
In a comment on yesterday’s post, my good buddy Barnabas shared a link to this new 15-minute documentary about the Sawi people fifty years after Don and Carol Richardson went to live among them. It’s a great short film.
4. The future of the Church of England
Jake Belder, an assistant minister in a local congregation of the Church of England, had a great post this week offering his (sobering) thoughts on the road ahead for the Anglican church:
As I say all of this, I realise that I may sound as if I want to see the Church of England broken up. I genuinely don’t. I hate division as much as the next person, and I would love to see a wave of reform pass through the institution and to see a recommitment to doing the work of spreading the gospel and faithfully bearing witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. But I am also a realist, and though I have not been within the walls of the Church of England for long, I find myself increasingly sceptical about its future. Division will come at some point, and probably sooner than we think. What that will look like, I don’t know. The one clear thing, however, is that the institution cannot continue to exist as it does for much longer. For that reason, I would encourage my conservative evangelical brothers and sisters to begin sitting down now and having those serious conversations that need to be had.
5. Why sidewalks, plazas, & bike lanes matter to God
Eric Jacobsen, a pastor and new urbanist in Tacoma, Washington, explores the theology of the built environment in this great talk at the Center for Faith & Work.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: gardenvisit.com]