We are a part of a multiethnic network that has 12 sovereign churches using our building. They are immigrant/refugee congregations. Over the past several years, we have seen them form into a body of believers resourcing each other, encouraging each other, and blessing the former “white” church with their presence. Although racism has been displayed, the network’s unity has been the key to being able to challenge existing power structures.
Salt Lake City, UT
We white Christians often breeze over the problems of bringing Jews and Gentiles together in one church—like all it takes is a little love and tolerance. Is it a matter of creating a “new” culture out of two or three native cultures? I don’t think so. The process has to be a slow, open-minded learning process with an open exchange of cultural ideas leading toward a deeper understanding. Further, I think that because we in the white church have developed attitudes of superiority, the largest changes in perception might well have to come from white people willing to give up some of that
privilege in order to learn.
I went to a majority white church to heal and be fed spiritually at a different level, but I still often feel like I don’t quite fit in. I still praise God with clapping and shouting “Hallelujah,” but it feels lonely, even discouraging, when you’re the only one. I’m always glad when our Indian ministry partner visits, because him being up front encouraging an interactive and responsive worship experience makes me feel less alone.
Yessenia Garcia (Facebook)
Deep appreciation for Daniel Harrell’s thoughtful piece on the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ in this particular Lenten season when the sins of nationalism, American exceptionalism, and white supremacy “cling so closely.” Thank you for such a timely and courageous editorial.
B. Hunter Farrell
Jen Wilkin’s beautiful description of Christian meditation is a practice I would call prayerful study. I reserve the term Christian meditation for a more inward place, a place that may precede or follow the practice Jen describes. I experienced it at four when the sight of a huge spiderweb weighted with dew, each droplet a prism of the morning sun, stopped my breath and overwhelmed me with my first awareness of his presence. Every morning I sit in that silence.
Jesus tells us that there are two “great and foremost commandment[s]” (Matt. 22:3, NASB). One is found in Deuteronomy 6:4–7. “Rumination begets illumination,” the wonderful quote from Jen Wilkin, distills the fruit of that command. She obviously has the gift of teaching, and my appreciation.
I figure God gave us experts to aid us along our journey. Doctors, teachers, pastors, and friends.
JoEllen Huneryager Myers (Facebook)
Your piece is an example of everything I love about a good CT article: a detailed picture of how the church is lovely because Jesus loves his church. As a writer, I particularly enjoyed how you weaved phrases from Scripture throughout the piece to really give it the “feel” of church. I could hear Linda and Debbie talking as I read it; they sound like such fun storytellers! It was a really timely reminder of how God remains faithful to us throughout the journey of learning to follow him.
The article was weakened by a poorly developed—and in my view, suspect—interpretation of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. Bird proposes that the object of Jesus’ anger was not the commercialization of temple worship, rather that the temple “had become an emblem of Jewish resistance against Rome.” So why did Jesus’ attack focus on those selling and changing money? Don’t Jesus’ words suggest he is angry about profiteering?
What is missing in this article is an explanation of Luke 22:36–38. Unfortunately, there would be those who crashed into the Capitol defending their actions by Jesus’ words in this passage.
The testimonies at the end of each issue are the icing on the cake! Diverse, encouraging, and beautiful to read the ways God brings people to himself.
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