Christians are called by Saint Paul to a ministry of reconciliation with God and with neighbor (2 Corinthians 5:19). Like Paul we’re called to rely on words and dialogue instead of military arms. Essentially Paul’s conversion is a transformation from militant to preacher, from reliance on force to reliance on written and verbal persuasion, from lethal finality to verbal communication and process (Acts 9:1-22).
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The ministry of reconciliation starts with eyes that see God in all people. How can we behold other human beings with awe unless we first behold their divine origin? Human beings are created in God’s image (Genesis 2:27). This is a starting place for faithful dialogue. It is the starting place for mutual respect and respect’s higher form: reverence. This divine origin or original nature keeps us from writing people off. Obviously this thinking has its limits, when dealing with lawless, boundary-less, and immoral people, like Hitler and Stalin. Yet even the most reactionary and repugnant organizations have a shred of truth, if not in their ideology, then in the vehemence of their reaction to some perceived threat.
There’s always something to be learned when we dig beneath the surface of any personality, ideology, or organization.
Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
Enjoy Rich’s post: How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.
Check out Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. It works well for group studies.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.