Life Changers – 12/26/14

The sun rises on the good and the evil, the rain falls on the just and unjust, Christmas happens to the happy and the sad. Regardless of whether your Christmas was merry or not, I pray everyone at least considered the possibility of hope that God did not leave us alone. God experienced our joys and our sorrows. That will take a life time of Christmas-es for me to grasp.

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This week in Life Changers I just have a handful of reads, having spent some time away from internet-reading to celebrate Christmas with my family, which I’m sure you’ll forgive.

Krista Tippet from On Being, (who continue to stun me with interviews so insightful and life-giving, I marvel that I get to receive such value for free delivered right through my ear buds) tells us why she doesn’t do Christmas. For someone who doesn’t do Christmas, her summary of Christmas is beautiful and true:

There is something audacious and mysterious and reality-affirming in the assertion that has stayed alive for two thousand years that God took on eyes and ears and hands and feet, hunger and tears and laughter and the flu, joy and pain and gratitude and our terrible, redemptive human need for each other. It’s not provable, but it’s profoundly humanizing and concretely and spiritually exacting. And it’s no less rational — no more crazy — than economic and political myths to which we routinely deliver over our fates in this culture, to our individual and collective detriment.

Zack Hunt from the American Jesus talks about Peace on Earth.

Though violence may seem like the way the world works, as followers of Jesus we are called to a different way of life that responds to evil in a way that is not of this world. As difficult as it can be to embrace, as children of God we have an unconditional call to be peacemakers. Which is why it is not enough to just sing about peace. We must incarnate it as well.

The internet is abuzz about Rob Bell…again. Because Rob Bell is on Oprah! Whoa, what do you think about that? It’s pretty crazy! Here’s what Aric Clark thinks in this Obligatory Post about Rob Bell. I think he has a really good point.

Even if Bell becomes the next Billy Graham and thousands claim to convert every week through his show, what good would that do? That kind of conversion is meaningless. Numbers are irrelevant. Hundreds of millions of Christians in this country don’t stop us from waging war, torturing prisoners, or oppressing the poor and people of color. More people switching teams, or more likely signing back up with their lapsed team, won’t matter in the least. God desires mercy not sacrifice.

I found this post, How Adoption has Forced Evangelicals to Grapple with Race Relations, really interesting. I mean, it’s sad that evangelicals have to be “forced” to grapple with race relations, but this is definitely a good “fruit”, among others, of international, transracial adoptions.

Adoption has forced evangelicals to reconsider all manner of issues, from poverty to race to health and international relations, Moore said.

I am quite sure Kathy Escobar lives INSIDE MY HEAD. I don’t know how she does it, but time and again, she speaks as if specifically to ME. Personally. Exactly how I feel. If you ever find yourself feeling like an outsider in the world of faith, chances are, you’ll resonate as well. Outsiders.

I have a feeling there are a lot of us who feel like outsiders this Christmas. Some embrace it with ease and feel comfortable with it. Others struggle with the feeling and long to feel “inside” of something again.

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