From beginning to end, the biblical story is about hospitality and welcome. The story begins with God creating the world as a place of welcome for his image-bearers, and after they reject that welcome, the rest of the story is about God welcoming his people back home. The high point of the story is when God comes in the person of Jesus to ensure welcome for everyone, no matter how hostile they’ve been toward God. In Christ, God proclaims a definitive “you’re welcome.” When you receive that radical welcome, you are then......
The word “hospitality” might evoke images of cozy dinner parties and benign small talk, but the biblical idea of hospitality is much more robust and comprehensive. In fact, Henri Nouwen claims that “if there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality.” In the coming year, we’re going to do just that. This is our year of “reclaiming hospitality.” For the entire month of September, we’re taking a deep breath to talk together about what it means to truly be hospitable, and......
We live a culturally complex world, and navigating that complexity can be both frustrating and invigorating. Whether dealing with differences in family culture, organizational culture, socioethnic culture, generational culture, or national culture, living with wisdom in our globalized, connected world requires that we grow in our cultural intelligence. And like any area of life, sustainable growth involves moving through productive conflict. Movies are one practical way for us to encounter different cultures and wrestle with the complexity and conflict that emerges from that encounter. In four unique ways, Black Panther, The Big......
Join us in sharing nine meals that have the potential to transform us, our families, and our neighbors. Download the meal guide and take the challenge with us this summer. In describing the core of his mission, Jesus said “the Son of Man came eating and drinking” (Luke 7:34), because more than other regular activity, Jesus’ eating habits embodied his mission and enacted the kingdom of God. The meals Jesus shared with people, particularly as recorded in the Newer Testament book of Luke, were full of surprising inclusion, extravagant grace, daily dependence,......
All of us long for true belonging, and all of us have a dream of what that looks like. In reality, however, our search for belonging is often a whole lot messier, more uncomfortable, and more awkward than we imagined it would be. What do we do when our dream for belonging clashes with reality? In our effort to belong to a church, we are also searching for a meaningful story, authentic community, beautiful truth, faithful friends, compelling mission, and a place that feels like home. What happens when we experience a......
In the sixth century BCE, the Jewish people found themselves in a situation of confusion and despair. Rather than living contentedly in the land God had given them, they were living in exile in Babylon. Within this situation, God’s people were tempted either to hate, ignore, or assimilate into city, but the prophet Jeremiah delivered a very different challenge: seek the shalom of the city (Jer 29:7)! Rather than complain or sit on their hands, God wanted his people to be for the city by joyfully pursuing justice, harmony, and wholeness in......
At the heart of Christianity is Jesus of Nazareth who is both fully God and fully human. While those who do not trust in Jesus deny his full divinity, those who do trust in Jesus often struggle with affirming his full humanity. It seems like we have all a version of Jesus we like best, and for most of us, it’s not the version that emphasizes Jesus learning how to read, feeling angry and sad and annoyed, getting physically exhausted, experiencing real temptations, joking around, and relieving himself. But this fully human,......
No book has transformed more people than the Bible, and no single book in the Bible has been more catalytic than Romans, Paul’s letter to the church in Rome that he wrote to give them unified confidence in the gospel of Jesus. Over the last two millennia, Romans has proven to be instrumental in converting and transforming countless Christian leaders, the inspiration behind bold movements to reform and renew the church, and the most treasured resource for believers in their journey from shame to glory. What is it about Romans that has......
What is a movie? According to the technical definition, a movie is a story or event recorded by a camera and shown in a theater or on television. Stated otherwise: movies are works of art. Movies are expressions of the human soul. Movies are dreams. Movies are worship. Movies are prayers. Movies are not merely products for our mindless consumption, but cries of the heart spanning every possible human experience and emotion. Someone once said that prayer is exhaling the human spirit and inhaling the Spirit of God. Movies exhale and inhale,......
When things are going well in life, we often describe ourselves as “blessed.” Although the word has religious origins, “blessed” has become a catch-all word for enjoying the good life according to cultural standards. As the 71 million uses of #blessed on Instagram reveals, it seems we feel blessed when our bodies are fit, our finances are in order, our careers are successful, our homes are comfortable, and our vacations are plush. In Matthew 5:3-10, one of the most famous passages in the Bible, Jesus flips our notion of being blessed upside......