Life Changers – 3/28/15

March 28, 2015


I am more than excited to share all the great reads around the Internet this week with you. So let’s get started!

The wonderful Lauren Winner is coming out with a new release titled “Wearing God.” The title alone sounds terrifically intriguing, and I always say there can never be enough metaphors we use to communicate about God. Here is an informative and inspiring interview with the author by the always fantastic Jonathan Merritt.

RNS: You mention God as clothing in your book. How can this picture expand the way many people conceive of God?

LW: Clothing is a really suggestive metaphor to think with when thinking about God. Just start brainstorming all the things clothing does in your own life:  clothing communicates things about you to other people.  It carries memories. It connects people to each other – thus my students in their Duke sweatshirts helps make them part of a shared student body. Also, clothing is very intimate. It is pressed right up against us, against even those parts of ourselves we would rather hide. So think of God as hovering right up next to those parts of yourself you are ashamed of.

Ben Irwin says, “Getting the Gospel right means telling the Story well,” and I can’t agree more. He captures the story for a young audience in The Story of King Jesus. In this post, Ben writes about how to tell the story well IN THE BEGINNING. I was particularly moved by the idea of God dwelling in our beautiful world. *tear*

However, there was one crucial difference between Genesis and these other stories: other deities needed someone to build a temple for them. Their houses were crafted by human hands. Not so with God and his temple, to the apostle Paul later declared. God doesn’t need anyone to build him a temple because he’s already built one.

Where is God’s temple in the Genesis story? Where does God rest? 

It’s all around us. The cosmos, heaven and earth, is God’s temple.

Speaking of the Creation narrative, here is a stunning portrayal of God’s process of maturing the world and the tenderness God has for this growth. The more that we are learning about the expansive nature of our cosmos, the more space there are to imagine the love of God. Thank you Kelley Nikondeha for this beautiful reflection – for god so loved.

It occurred to me, maybe for the first time, that God cherished all those billions of years with creation the way any parent would relish the growth of their children. God loves the Cosmos with such tenderness and unwavering devotion. God so loved the Cosmos – from January to December – that God would send a redeemer for the entirety of creation that waits and groans. We are part of that long love affair, part of those waiting for redemption. But we aren’t the only part of creation that matters; we aren’t the only part that is dearly and fiercely loved.

I loved this sweet story of how a father learned to listen to his son’s story through his tattoo.

People tell their story in different ways, but rarely with words.

Sometimes it’s how they carry themselves or the way they wear their hair. And sometimes it’s the scar on their wrist or a frown or a smile on their face.

Going Smaller and Deeper – a new way of imagining what church can be, as reported by Carol Howard Merritt. The way of Jesus is contrary to the way of the world. The world says more people, bigger, more glamorous. Jesus says to go down, go out, go deep.

But when Jeff Richards imagines a church in downtown Sacramento, Cal­i­fornia, he describes a different scene. The church doesn’t tower over the other buildings; instead, it inhabits them. For Richards, church should not be segregated by a certain hour, enfolded by four walls. God should not have a house, where we call upon the divine presence once a week, fulfilling some duty, like visiting an ailing aunt. Instead, church should infuse our whole lives, seeping into every place we breathe and influencing everything we do.

Last, but by no means the least, I leave you with this powerful punch of a post – Christian Sisterhood, For Better and For Worse, for all of us Christian feminists out there. By the ever amazing Esther Emery, the only person I know who lives in a yurt. 

I never wanted to lay a heavier yoke on any of my sisters, except this. We must know that when we passively accept power differentials, we are simultaneously oppressor and oppressed.

The flat side of the blade that separates out women as a social class also sticks us all together. Every motion made towards disruption filters through real human beings next door on the chain. But so does every retaliating, “Shhh….”

What changed your life this week?