Israel Travel Blog Day 7: Journey into Conflict

It would be easy to write tonight’s column about visiting the place where Jesus was crucified, to talk about what it was like to pray there, to describe the emotions from praying where he was laid to rest, and what it was like to visit the entire Old Jerusalem areas. I will save those for another occasion.

Tonight I’m drawn to the many interactions of conflict we encountered as we walked throughout Old Jerusalem. You couldn’t help but notice it. The signs of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians were all around us. Continue reading “Israel Travel Blog Day 7: Journey into Conflict”

Israel Travel Blog Day 2: What Day is This?

We have arrived in Israel. Physically that is. I am so exhausted from the day-long journey from Lexington to Tel Aviv with an extended bus ride to our hotel to know that I am clearly travel weary. I’m exhausted enough that I left behind my reading materials for my next Residency meeting on the plane.

Oops.

Other than forgetting an important book on the plane, the trip to Tel Aviv was fairly uneventful. There were few moments where it seemed like we were on a roller coaster over Europe, but that and not being able to sleep more than about 90 minutes were about the biggest enjoyments of the flight. Continue reading “Israel Travel Blog Day 2: What Day is This?”

Jesus’ Trial, the Crowds, and Us

It doesn’t take a lot of time to recognize that our world is different than what many of us grew up with or have much familiarity with. Life is lived today in the fast lane, where it seems everything must happen in the instant. Communication is less about meeting with someone face-to-face, but done more through a text message or tweet. Also, we are long past the days where opening the doors on Sunday mornings meant large numbers of people would want to come or feel the need to worship.

Much has changed in the world with many of these changes taking place over the last 10 years. These changes provide challenges to our church and our mission to make disciples in the name of Jesus Christ. At the same time, I believe these changes has led to the most exciting time to be in the church or in ministry. We can no longer sit back and expect people to come to us. We must go to them.

One of the things that excites me about ministry today is the abundance of narratives that are prevalent today. We are recognizing that there are many voices in our world and these voices need to be heard. Where in previous times we might have only heard from a select or influential few, we now see the worth and importance of having a diverse set of narratives and what these narratives bring to our discussions. I think this allows us to see God in a deeper way and to reflect on the love of Jesus Christ in ways that are relevant, truthful, and meaningful to all. Continue reading “Jesus’ Trial, the Crowds, and Us”