Heaven is a symbolic expression of two complementary yearnings: the longing for perfection in this world, and union with the divine. We are drawn by the promise of perfection. On an interior level this is felt as the promise of perfect love, happiness, and the ideal relationship. The idea of hell is essentially a symbolic yearning for a moral order in which the good are rewarded and the bad are punished.read more
If we could grasp Berry’s vision, then our biblical images of judgment would not be terrifying, tormenting images to be feared, but purifying images to be welcomed, invested with new meaning.read more
This service was created by Gretta Vosper from the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity
The service can be led by one person but is richer with a diversity of voices. In some places, options for Reader 1 and Reader 2 are marked to suggest a particular flow. Leaders are urged to work out who is responsible for what and use the options provided only as guidelines.
The space is prepared for the service with an easily accessible table, cloaked in dark cloth, with baskets of tea lights set upon smaller tables or stands at each end. The table may be decorated with a sprinkling of silvery or translucent glitter or cut out stars. Silver-covered boxes of various heights might offer different places for people to set tea lights and offer visual interest
During the celebration of Christmas, familiar images are recalled in hymns and scripture about the birth of Jesus. In the popular mind, the appearance of herald angels, shepherds abiding in the fields, the star of Bethlehem, the virgin Mary giving birth in a stable, and the adoration of the Magi, have all been melded into one Christmas story. In reality, there are in the gospels, two distinct and at times contradictory stories of Jesus’ birth. A careful reading of the Bible itself reveals that so much about this celebrated birth is myth.read more
With scriptural wisdom, theological reflection, and pastoral insight, Chuck invites the reader to encounter Advent as a transformative experience. He utilizes film, literature, and contemporary experience to draw readers into spiritual reflection on the Christian’s sacred story, exploring the redemptive possibilities of the Christmas season.
Chuck writes in the introduction: “It is my hope that amide all the glitter, glamor, gladness, and grief of the Christmas season, you will find some shimmers of light in these spiritual reflections that will enlarge your vision of God’s kingdom, expand your love for all persons, and evoke your creative participation with God’s project to heal and transform our world.”
Bestselling author, Bible scholar, and theologian Marcus Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week) uses his core teachings on faith and the Bible to demonstrate their transformative power and potential in Putting Away Childish Things: the moving, inspirational story of a college professor, her students, and a crisis of faith.read more