To you, the woman who is struggling with infertility and wondering, “what if I never have a baby?” I can assure that your story still matters and you still have miracles waiting. You may never get pregnant and that might feel like the worst thing in the world today. I understand and I hurt with you.
Maybe you will find your way back to each other and the two of you will share something that is indeed the most profound expression of love between two soul mates, raising a family. Maybe you thought that sitting where you are now is your only way to get there.
The pain and questions I was left with after our second loss pushed me into the Word deeper than before, not necessarily to find answers to my questions but for comfort in my grief and an understanding of God’s sovereignty.
God never intended us to go through life’s struggles alone. He desires for us to be in community with others and to love, support, and share. But sharing what is really going on in our lives can be difficult, especially when it is so much easier to share just the “perfect” things in life.
When I was young, I was constantly looking forward, keeping my sights set on a dream future. Now, I am constantly looking at what I left behind, second guessing the decisions made, and worrying about what happens next. In hindsight, I wonder when, if ever, was the last time I was content to live in the moment, embracing the struggles and successes of the moment.
My challenge to myself and to you is to ask: How can I be present for someone today? This is not just about acts of service or help. It’s taking time to listen, to empathize, to grieve alongside others.
I must confess, I haven’t really sorted through all of my feelings, but in these early days of the new administration, I would urge Christians in America to maintain a pragmatic optimism while taking great care to preserve a prophetic presence in the social order.
I wonder sometimes about our own engagement with social issues on social media. Why do we share the things we share, engage the issues we engage, avoid the issues we avoid?
Thin places have become my resolution this year. I want to see them. I want to be a part of them. I want to be expecting them like Simeon and Anna sitting on the temple steps, never giving up hope that the incarnation of God’s Spirit would yet come.
This week on iAt, we will focus on how practices of the church, that have been done for centuries, are still relevant in 2017. We invite you to return to iAt throughout this week to reflect and be challenged on how you approach communion, baptism, evangelism, and community in your church and for your own spiritual health. “Since I don’t …
If our churches have to be a little more uncomfortable to us insiders in order to reach even one lost soul for Christ, that’s a sacrifice we should all be willing to make.
The church today would do well to think deeply about the sacrament and how we celebrate it. To make it a sacrament of true joy, rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we ought to remember it is a reenactment of that Gospel in which our Lord is truly present with us. The real presence of Christ makes it truly joyful and deeply serious. It’s not a buffet for everyone.
St. Irenaeus once suggested that “the glory of God is the human person fully alive.” Christ’s incarnation gives us a picture of the perfect image of God. The way we become what we were meant to be is not primarily through technology, but through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, who makes us more like Christ.
In this series of columns for iAt, I will endeavor to tell the story of the United States and Middle Eastern Christians, from the 1950s until today. But first, I want to set the stage by challenging how we think about persecution. How do we make mental sense of horror movie scenes like the bloodbath at St. Mark’s?
Aleppo today has faded from the headlines. If the news cycle has moved on, it should not mean that our hearts should too. The humanitarian situation in the city is still extremely precarious, and the number of internally displaced people ever higher, with all the logistical problems this implies. In such a situation, it is easy to feel helpless.
The meaning of Christmas is easily lost in the glitter and hype that fill our days for weeks and months at this time of year. Much about the Christmas season is cozy and appealing. Much else about it is shallow and consumeristic. But what is the true meaning of Christmas?
The shirtless man doing taekwondo, the child staring blankly across the table at dad’s empty chair, both parents celebrating a baby’s first Christmas and the couple who cannot get pregnant, and Melissa moving earnestly from one person to the next. These are the new characters of Christmas.
The meaning of Christmas in Germany, however, gives the church freedom to proclaim the miraculous story of Jesus once again—that Christ was born for all people, that outsiders from the East are welcomed to greet the newborn Savior, and that lowly shepherds can proclaim the Good News of great joy.
If we stumble on our doubt sometimes, does that mean we aren’t blessed? No. But, consider it to be a blessing when faith is strong. We recognize that there are seasons in our faith lives. Sometimes, our faith may be as solid as the ground that we stand upon. Then, there are times when faith feels like a cliff that we hang on to by our fingertips. Yet, take comfort: it is still faith.
Indeed, looking up to see the heavens on a moonless night sky and seeing the Milky Way drape itself across the firmament is something I should do more often. Perhaps the shepherds were doing just that very thing one night in the fields near Bethlehem.
None of these sad truths seem to fit the questions we normally ask about American wars: “Are we winning?” “Are we safer?” “Who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys?” Rather, in the Battle for Mosul, all the major players are “bad.”
In the past decade or so, the march toward globalism and our settled faith in democracy have gone largely unchallenged; however, a variety of political chickens have come home to roost in this past year, exposing the messy reality of systemic corruption and manifesting in a surge of populism around the world.
My name is Zechariah. Nothing so remarkable there, as thirty Zechariahs before me are recorded in the Scriptures. But Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers,” and that seems remarkable to me, especially after…well, I’ll explain in a minute.
Despite the differences in their situations – the unlikely pregnancy of an old woman who bore the shame of barrenness for years and the completely impossible pregnancy of a young unwed virgin – these two women faced many of the same challenges as first-time mothers.
As a young girl growing up in the church, I was always encouraged to base my faith on Mary’s. After all, she’s the mother of Jesus. She’s the epitome of being used to bring the Kingdom to fruition – quite literally. She’s the manifestation of submissive faith, of perfect trust, of putting God’s will above one’s own. When the angel …