By Alexander Carpenter
Happy Sabbath! Welcome back to the Spectrum Blog Church. Thanks to those who commented after the last service. If you have ideas for future services, drop a comment.
The service today centers on the parental model for how humans relate to God. We say "relationship" and we say we are "God's children." But what do these offspring and family metaphors imply about our behavior? To mediate on: if we are all children of God, what ought our primary ethical concerns be?
Opening PrayerA reflection on the children of the Cambodian killing fields
Scripture readingAnd they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. —Mark 10:13-16
Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything. ~Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone Scelto
Special MusicAntony and the Johnsons cover Millie Jackson's"Children of God"
HomilyI met Rabbi Arthur Waskow about a year and a half ago at the Progressive Faith Bloggers Conference in NY. He kinda embodies the idea of "prophetic."
OfferingYou may have heard of Paul Kim's award winning documentary Unto the Ends about the young medical missionaries at Bere Adventist Hospital in Tchad. Dr. Appel and his wife are heroes to me because their service reminds me of Christ's example and my priorities. This is why (Sep. 23): As I sit to write this, I'm sobbing deep down with no tears. How much have I prayed for this girl over the last four days? How much of my own time, strength and energy have I put into her despite having Malaria myself? Why do I bother?Why does God seem to never intervene? Why does it seem I'm on my own in this?I need to make sense of it or I'll lose my faith.Maybe it's not God's fault at all...maybe it's ours. Maybe if this girl had a clean well or running water she wouldn't have been forced to draw from the side of the road. Maybe if the road had been paved with appropriate bridges and drainage systems the truck wouldn't have slid into her. Maybe if the hospital had better lab facilities we could've intervened to prevent any of the number of things that could be unknown contributing factors to her death.Maybe we in the West can't go out to buy the latest Energy drink or expensive gourmet coffee without using up the resources that could have gone to furnishing clean water sources in the Third World.Maybe we can't buy bigger and fancier gas-guzzling SUVs without wasting the money that could've gone to provide simple improved infrastructure in developing nations.Maybe we can't spend millions of dollars on boob jobs and face lifts and lipo suction without depriving bush hospitals of basic laboratory and x-ray equipment.Adventist Health International/Loma Linda University School of Medicine supports their work. Click here if you'd like to donate to their work.
- Have your say in helping Christians get the House (the Senate already has the votes!) to overturn Bush's veto of S-CHIP
- Also, the new Spectrum website, with blog included (yeah for integration!) will be coming soon.
- I understand that the church's religious liberty department will be making a statement on Burma early this week. Keep an eye out!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4097