October 31, 2012

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Five Reasons Why Christians Can (and Should) Be Politically Engaged 1. Jesus is King...Here and Now. Jesus' Kingdom has begun. In theological terms, this is called "inaugurated eschatology": the new Age-- the long awaited "Age to Come" where God brings His saving and restoring rule to earth-- has begun in Christ. This is the surprising announcement in the Gospels-- that in Jesus, God has become King on Earth...now. This Kingdom is a "now and not yet" reality, however, and we find ourselves living between two ages: this present "evil age" and the promised "age to come." When the first Christians called Jesus "Lord" and "Savior", they were taking titles that were used of Caesar-- the greatest ruler of the known world in their day. They were basically calling Caesar a sham because Jesus is the true Lord and Savior. This doesn't make Christians anarchists (people who don't believe in government) or separatists (people who try to function independent of society). Rather, it gives us a message and a grid for public engagement. Jesus' Kingship is not a defense for apathy toward political engagement. Believe me, I understand that an overly-politicized faith has left a bad taste in people's mouths. And it is healthy to remember that God is sovereign over all the nations regardless of election results. But as people who believe that Jesus is the only rightful King of this world now, the Church must be a prophetic voice to the rulers of this world, calling them to account to Christ as King. For us, this means calling politicians on both sides of the aisle to govern in a way that reflects Christ's own wise and loving rule. Suggestion: Set aside your own economic theory and political rhetoric for a moment and ask what Christ the King would say to the "rulers" of our day. Read Matthew 5-7 and...
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Advent Resources Well...the church year is about to begin, and I've been getting a few questions about Advent resources. I'm no expert. This is, after all, only my fourth journey through the liturgical year (aka the Church Calendar). But there's so much that I've come to love about it. For one, it helps us participate in the life of Christ by calling us into a rhtyhm that retraces His life on earth, His death, and His resurrection. Secondly, it helps us celebrate with the wider Body of Christ-- connecting us to the Church historic and the Church universal. (I have written briefly about the Church Calendar and how observing as a spiritual practice can be helpful HERE. I may write more on it soon.) C. S. Lewis wrote that a fellow student may be of help to other students in ways that teachers sometimes cannot be because they have forgotten what it's like to now know what they know. My hope is that as one who is learning, I may be of use to others travelling along the way. ____________________ DATES, COLORS, AND THEMES: The Four Sundays: December 2, December 9, December 16, December 23 Colors and Themes: Week 1-- purple, HOPE; Week 2-- purple, PEACE; Week 3-- JOY; Week 4-- purple, LOVE ____________________ PRAYERS: To me, it's hard to beat the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Find a link to the 1979 version free online HERE. There is also a nice iPhone app with lectionary readings and prayers out of both the RCL and the BCP. Download it HERE. First Sunday of Advent: TRADITIONAL: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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