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I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions and it’s been years since I spent hours on the first day of the year calling everyone in my address book. The truth is, the annual resetting of the calendar brings me more pain than joy. I’ve long rejected the samsara influenced myth that sees the first day of January as some sort of magical reset button. Oh, I wish we did have an opportunity to do some things over, but experience has taught me that this is absolutely impossible.
The Adventist church, like many conservative Christian denominations, takes an official position condemning homosexuality. The 1999 General Conference Annual Council approved a position statement, found on the church’s website at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main-stat46.html that states:
I had a colleague (this was years ago) who was assigned to a small town church whose members opposed any celebration of Christmas. When December came, the church members would drive past and peer in the parsonage windows, to check whether the new pastor’s family had Christmas decorations. So when my friend’s wife insisted they have a Christmas tree for their little boy, they had to set it up in the bathtub, that being the only room the church members couldn’t readily see into!
One of the characteristics of the gospel According to John is that the main events in the life of Jesus are connected to Jewish feasts or specific times. The expulsion of the money changers and traders from the temple happened on a Passover (2:13). The feeding of the five thousand took place on another Passover (6: 4). Apparently Jesus did not go up to Jerusalem for this one. The healing of the paralytic at the portals of the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was done on “a feast of the Jews” (5: 1).
This season’s Republican primary battle makes one wonder if the leading contestants have secretly signed a deal with a reality television promoter. It appears that every day brings a story more shocking than the previous revelation as the drama intensifies by the minute. While the plot thickens, the needle on the public shockometer hardly registers as people’s sensitivities are seemingly immunized to the bizarre dysfunction.
Georgia on His Mind
In Matthew 5, Jesus talks of the importance of little things, things as small as the dot over an i. Lynne Truss in her 2004 best seller makes the same point in the title of her book,” Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. Is this a statement about a murderous dinner guest? Or, sans comma, could it describe the diet of a panda?
Recently I watched an interview with the polished and handsome Mitt Romney. He’ll quite possibly be the nominee for his party next year, and even if he isn’t, he’ll have left a big footprint on the American political landscape. I don’t like everything he stands for (if you can figure out what that is), but he’s clearly smart and pragmatic and, from what I can tell, at least as moral as some of the previous inhabitants of that office.
And he’s a Mormon.
The gospel According to John invites us to enter an environment quite different from the one we have become accustomed to in the synoptic gospels. In these gospels Jesus preaches about the kingdom of God by means of parables that describe activities and objects of everyday village life. In According to John, as we have already pointed out in previous columns, Jesus preaches himself as the One Sent by the Father. His message is “I Am”.