#BlackLivesMatter is a gospel issue

At The District Church, we’ve just started a series entitled “A Call for Racial Reconciliation.” Matthew kicked us off powerfully this past Sunday by talking about “Why Race Matters to God,” and included the unqualified statement that “Black Lives Matter is a gospel issue.” You can listen to that here.

Where is God in suffering, anxiety, and depression?

My good friend and brother-in-ministry Aaron Cho is one of the pastors at Quest Church in Seattle. He preached this weekend from the book of Job on suffering and delivered such a powerful word that I’m leaving it here for you.

Meanwhile, at The District Church this last Sunday, Aaron Graham (our lead pastor) preached on “Overwhelmed: The Fight Against Anxiety and Depression.” Too often our churches don’t know how to address mental illness — but we have to bring it out in the open and disarm it of its power. You can listen to that podcast here.

Overwhelmed

God Knows

IMG_9599Recently discovered this beautiful and convicting poem by Minnie Louise Haskins — “God Knows,” more popularly known as “The Gate of the Year.”

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Carolyn’s Most Important Question

Every summer at The District Church, we do a series called My Most Important Question, during which we get to hear from folks in our community about the biggest question they’ve wrestled with (or are wrestling with) in their life and spiritual journey. The idea behind it is that we don’t believe God calls us to leave our questions at the door when we follow him, but rather, like the man in Mark 9, we can say, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We believe it’s in wrestling with those difficult questions, those doubts and uncertainties, and even in sitting with them — without actually fixing anything — that we grow and mature and God teaches us things we might not otherwise be able to learn.

Carolyn MMIQThis past Sunday, Carolyn shared her most important question. You can listen to it here (she’s last, beginning at 31:53 — though Raessa and Justin, who also spoke on Sunday, are worth listening to as well! For that matter, you should listen to all of the others.). I’m so proud of her, and for the story that she was able to tell because of what God has done; and I hope you’re encouraged.

On joy and pain

Tealights

So many things we achieve are achieved only through struggle and conflict, not in easy ways. They always seem to involve crosses. I have so longed to find somewhere in life some corner where joy is unmingled with pain. But I have never found it. Wherever I find joy, my own or other people’s, it always seems to be mingled with pain. And I find that the people I most respect are people who know the link between joy and pain. And I have found that if we will own pain and weep over it together, we will also find Christ’s overflowing comfort. The bad news is that there may be no corner of reality where joy is not related to pain. The good news is that there is no corner of reality where pain cannot be transformed into overflowing joy.

– John Goldingay, Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities

For more on loss, click here.