Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Right there in the middle of the movie Glory is a great biblical reference.
That's right, Hines. Ain't no dream. We runaway slaves but we come back fightin' men. Go tell your folks how kingdom come in the year of jubilee!

In the Old Testament, year of jubilee was a year of liberation: of servants, property, the land, debts and crops. All property sold as payment to relieve poverty, was to be returned to the original owners without restoration of the original amount advanced. The Old Testament describes the land as God's inheritance, given to all Israel
The land cannot be sold permanently because the land is mine and you are foreigners—you're my tenants. You must provide for the right of redemption for any of the land that you own. Leviticus 25); See also Ezekiel 33
In the New Testament, Jesus extends the jubilee by proclaiming a year of good news to the poor, release for captives, sight to the blind, and liberation to the oppressed. He taught his disciples to pray for the forgiveness of debts (as we forgive our debtors). Pentecost was characterized by the voluntary sharing of possessions, so that there was not a needy person among them. Acts 3:34, cf. Deuteronomy 15:40
Christian disciples of the American South understood freedom in this way. Freedom granted by God as an establishment of His kingdom. Freedom has always been a key element in the Kingdom of God. Christian men and women are free to serve because they are holy and set apart; they are not bound to the kingdom of this world. They are bound together, spiritually and courageously, to the One who has granted their freedom.
Good morning gentlemen, I am Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. I am your commanding officer. It is a great pleasure to see you all here today. It is my hope that the same courage, spirit, and honor, which has brought us together, will one day restore this Union. May God bless us all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Russians

Was 9/11 the last uniting event in America or just the latest?
I don't watch The Daily Show with John Stewart, meaning I don't make it a point to watch it, but I was flipping channels yesterday and came across this quote...
I gotta tell you, over the last few months as we've seen Russia commit political assassinations, suppress its media, and rig elections, I can't help but think, "They're back baby." Do you think they'd want to get in the cold war with us , because that war was awesome, so much better than this one. You know, I remember when we were at war with Russia for like 50 years, and what was the worst thing that happened? We ended up missing an Olympics... I tell you, having Russia as our enemy again, I would totally trade [Osama Bin Laden] for [Yakov Smirnov]. What a country indeed.
Full clip here.
Does America need an "enemy" to bring us together? The Cold War, the "War on Terror", the "War on Poverty", Vietnam... If Americans believe that Governments are instituted among Men to secure rights then it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off oppressive Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Maybe because we are a nation that was formed by "throwing off," we are constantly on the look out for new Oppressors. The great Russian authors seem to see it differently. War does not hinder death and oppression, only love can do that.
Love? What is love? . . . Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source. —Leo Tolstoy
God is love. Love may be all a man might need to know.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Uncaptive Mission

Is it safe to go out today? The crosses on the outside of our church sould shout, "No!" No, it is not safe "out there" in the world. The travellers on the Emmaus road make this abundantly clear.
Jesus' response to trouble is also clear. "So thick headed!" And Jesus goes on to explain life and scripture and how all things make sense because of him. I love how Eugene Peterson puts it, It's in Christ we find out who we are and what we are living for.
Those who know who they are,
Who know who they're living for
Who know why they are alive!
They are the ones that go.