Monday, May 20, 2013

Meditations on the Good News: Awe Came Upon Everyone

Yesterday, Pentecost was celebrated by Christians worldwide as the birthday of the Christian Church, and so I wanted to share with you this Pentecost reflection from my book Meditations on the Good News: Reading the Bible For Today.

Awe came upon everyone.
Acts 2:43

Later on that Pentecost day, “awe came upon everyone,” and all had the “goodwill of all the people” (Acts 2:47). No one is left out. All the people, no matter how different, receive the grace of being alive, of sharing the possibilities of being filled with reverence and the joy of living.

As I write this, the birds outside my window are singing different songs, some in their own robin language, some in their own wren language, some their own sparrow language. At first, I only hear it as birds singing, a single blended note. But when I slow down and really listen, the different songs emerge. I hear the robin, the sparrow and the wren individually. They are singing to their mates, but for right now, it feels like they are singing to me.

I look outside my window, and at first my mind only registers that there are tall green trees. But, as I slow myself down, I differentiate the evergreen, the pine, and the maple. I watch a bird fly from one to the other. By slowing down for a moment and really looking, really listening, I feel awe for the nature that I too often overlook.

The day is dawning, and I am given the gift of seeing today.

We have the opportunity to be awed, in our everyday surroundings, every day. Take a moment, right now, and look outside your window. Look, really look, at the nature that is right outside your window. Open your ears and listen, really listen. Take a deep breath and be in awe that you are created in a body that breathes for you without your needing to do anything at all.

Take a few minutes throughout today just to be and observe. Let today be a day, to paraphrase e.e cummings’ words, when the ears of your ears awake and the eyes of your eyes are opened.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Meditations on the Good News. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think may be blessed to read it.

For those of you who have read and enjoyed Meditations on the Good News, please consider leaving a review on its Amazon page.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Tell ESPN Anti-Gay Is Not Christian/Support Jason Collins

NBA Basketball Player Jason Collins inspired so many — including me — with his courage in coming out as a gay man and citing his Christian faith as a core reason for being public about his sexuality.

But hours after the news broke, ESPN sportscaster Chris Broussard’s said to millions of viewers: "I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don't think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian."

Since that moment, ESPN only tepidly apologized.

Working with our amazing partners at Groundswell/Auburn seminary, we created a petiton that
More than 800 people of faith have already signed demanding that ESPN not allow anti-gay speech to go unchallenged – 

 Will you join our campaign? Click here to tell ESPN that Christian doesn't equal anti-gay.

When NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay, he noted “My parents instilled Christian values in me. They taught Sunday school, and I enjoyed lending a hand. I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding.”

After years of hiding who he was, this courageous basketball player needs our support.
Click here to take action. 

More about the Religious Institute:
The Religious Institute applauds Jason Collins' courageous public witness, and our network of religious leaders affirms sexual and gender diversity as a blessed part of life. The Religious Institute is a national nonprofit advocating for sexual and reproductive justice, education and health in faith communities and in society. Click here to check it out. 
About Groundswell 
Groundswell is a place for people of faith, the seeking, and the secular to advocate for change they want to see in their communities. Together, we echo, amplify, and empower each other’s calls for justice. It's where anyone, like you, can easily set up a petition, recruit your friends and colleagues through social media, email whoever signed the petition, and get campaign support from Groundswell headquarters in New York City to make your campaign successful. Click here to check it out.