To mark Father’s Day this year, Kyle reads some reflections from men in our community on fathers and fatherhood, and shares his own, helping us to consider the image of Father for God as something that isn’t so much about gender, but rather about inheritance, identity, and belonging.
More Bible, more better? More Bible, more problems? At BLV, neither of these seem right to us. History has proven that “more Bible” is not always better if we’re talking about uninformed, irresponsible readings of the Bible that don’t consider culture and context. But throwing it out as antiquated and worthless leaves on the table the Bible’s unique ability to connect people with the God Jesus showed humanity. Kyle helps us find a middle ground by teaching us about the differences between modern American culture and the cultures of the Bible.
On the Sunday we set aside every year to thank and celebrate our volunteers, Vince passes on some of his most recent reminders of why he loves this church and all of the volunteer efforts that make it happen (and not just because he’s supposed to). He also tells us what’s ahead this summer for volunteers: (1) our Kids Program is exploding (great problem to have!), and (2) how we're taking advantage of the Chicago summer.
This week we learned about and tried our hands at contemplative prayer, from one of the foremost experts on it: Fr. Richard Rohr (in video form). This kind of prayer is not about solving problems, making judgments, answering questions, or processing stresses. It’s about — in Fr. Rohr’s words — “a long, loving look at the Real” of our lives.
No… End of talk… Just kidding… But maybe asking about why life is or isn’t fair is the wrong question in a lot of ways. Kyle wonders if underneath questions of fairness is the human tendency toward comparison, and offers some suggestions on what we can do about that and some examples of prayer that might help.
As helpful and important as the imagery of God the Father is, what we too often miss is the imagery of God the Mother — just as illuminating of the character of Jesus and the God of the Bible. To mark Mother's Day this year and to learn more about the mothering character of God, various women in the BLV community offered us reflections on their mothers or on motherhood.
Most everyone seems to have a knee-jerk reaction against “all talk, no action”, and toward the active, genuine way of Jesus. But in the midst of the demands of Modern American society, how on earth is anyone supposed to live as a halfway-responsible adult AND be consistently active in love and service at the same time? Vince shares some thoughts and suggestions from his experience.
What’s the difference between bad authority and good authority? Fake news and journalistic integrity? Misappropriation of the Bible and appropriate use of the Bible? It’s the difference between unquestioned authority and interactive authority. Vince unpacks this difference by looking at some personal stories, an episode from the life of Jesus, and the broad brushstrokes of church history.
Kyle explains from personal experience how conversations about faith, God, or meaning can get very ugly, and how wanting to avoid such conversations like the plague is a very reasonable thing. But he also describes discovering a different, good version of faith conversation, and encourages us to push through the discomfort of going deep with people so we can enjoy and be changed by them.
When it comes to the benefits that a commitment to honesty has for our lives and for our communities, Kyle wonders if there is a difference between just "not lying" and true honesty, and considers how the old saying "it's not the crime, it's the cover up" seems to be at the heart of some of the words of the Apostle John.