If you have been in a meaningful relationship – which is all of us, of course – if you have been in a meaningful relationship, you know that there is a kind of testing that happens in relationships. Sometimes it happens very intentionally – sometimes it unconsciously, no doubt – but there is always a kind of testing that goes on in relationships.
In relationships between friends – we often test one another.
In relationships between spouses – we test one another.
In relationships between parents and children – we certainly test one another. Continue reading
Have you ever felt out of place?
Have you ever found yourself in some situation where you just didn’t belong?
In fact it’s a fairly common human experience – to feel out of place in this way.
If you’ve ever moved to a new town, you’ve probably felt out of place.
If you’ve ever travelled to another continent or country, you’ve probably felt out of place.
If you’ve found yourself spending time with people of a dramatically different income-bracket – well, you’ve probably felt out of place.
No doubt each one of us can of a time when we’ve felt out of place – we’ve all had that sense of discomfort and unease – of being disoriented – that goes along with being out of place. “Uh, I’m don’t think I’m supposed to be here.” Continue reading
In the Old and New Testament, there are many instances when God draws near and speaks to someone. And very often when God draws near to speak with someone, God does so in order to call that person to a particular task or activity. In the Old Testament, these stories are known as call narratives. Over the next five weeks of this summer we are going to look at 5 of these call narratives – these stories of God encountering and calling someone.
One of the reasons I’d like to explore these call narratives is because within our specific tradition of Christianity we have tended to hold God somewhat at a distance. In our tradition, we have been wary of a too-emotional experience of God. We have been wary of a too-personal spirituality. We have tended to look sideways at people who have an obvious and outer sense of intimacy with God – who talk freely about such encounters and intimacy. Continue reading