We've come to feel super helped by the Bible. But when is it appropriate to apply something from the Bible to life today? And when is it inappropriate? How do we know one way or the other? Kyle takes us to a statement from Jesus that proves incredibly useful...
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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.
Wrapping up our annual Christmas Carols service, Kyle leads us in a reflection on how to let Jesus' incarnation affect and guide us, on stories from the life of St. Nicholas, and even on the mythology of Santa.
In our experience, setting aside questions of "In vs. Out" doesn't make faith matter less, it makes faith matter more -- it frees our faith to become about the things that really matter most in life, like our topic this week: justice. How does Jesus lead us into participating in justice? By pursuing equity (rather than equality) and by giving dignity (never taking it away).
Jesus has some hard, countercultural-feeling encouragements for people, like "give to anyone who asks" or "give up your status". Should we follow Jesus out of duty or courage? Or, as Jesus himself instructs, should we follow him because he has our good health in mind? Isn't that a bit self-interested, Jesus? Maybe not...
BLV prayer team leader, Anna Cruz, shares stories about prayer from her life, from the Bible, and from others in our community.
It's hard work emotionally and psychologically to navigate the families we came from and their impact on us personally. Jesus has lots of help.