In Jesus Completeness is Restored

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“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27 ESV)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Our tension with God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, arises out of our incompleteness. We are created in God’s image, but only as a complement with our spouse, or future spouse, and then only incompletely. We remain separated from God by our unholiness and by our finitude. We yearn to complete our incompleteness; we yearn to be whole. We remain creatures of God’s creation. Yet, gardeners thrown out of the garden.

So we have reminders.

We are reminded by mere physical things: an empty stomach hungers; a dry mouth thirsts; our loneliness.

We are reminded by our limitations. We fail to keep our promises and to realize our potential.

We are reminded also by spiritual deficits. Our sin cuts us off both from our neighbors and from God. We fall short of the mark; we transgress boundaries; we fail to do the things that we should.

So we are thrown out of the garden.

Out of the garden, we feel shame and guilt.

Out of the garden, we cannot realize our destiny.

Out of the garden, completeness and holiness and fellowship with God are out of our reach.

So Jesus offers us a path back back to wholeness.

Back to restoration and healing.

Back to the garden and our destiny.

Back to our completeness and holiness and fellowship with our maker.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6 ESV)

In Jesus Completeness is Restore

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Release_2020

 

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En Cristo se Restaura la Integridad

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Dios creó al hombre a imagen suya, 

a imagen de Dios lo creó; varón y hembra los creó. 

(Gen 1:27)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Nuestra tensión con Dios, nuestro hambre y sed de rectitud, surge de nuestra incompletitud y separación. Incompletamente, llevamos la imagen de Dios en la era actual, separado por nuestra falta de santidad y finitud de nuestro creador santo y eterno. Mientras quedamos criaturas en la creación de Dios, somos también  jardineros expulsados ​​del jardín por nuestro pecado. Incluso en nuestro pecado, anhelamos ser santo; incluso  en nuestra separación, queremos se reunionado.

Entonces, en nuestros anhelos y esfuerzos, tenemos recordatorios:

Recordatorios como la privación físicos: un estomago vacío tiene hambre; una boca seca tiene sed; un individuo separado está solo.

Recordatorios como nuestras limitaciones: sueños olvidados; promesas incumplidas; potencial no realizado.

Recordatorios como déficits espirituales: los tiempos cuando no alcanzamos del marco; los límites que transgredamos; las cosas que descuidamos.

Entonces, para nuestros pecados, transgresiones, y negligencias, somos arrojados del jardín:

Fuera del jardín, nuestra energía se falla; nuestros corazones y mentes se sienten vacios; y el dolor es nuestro único compañero.

Fuera del jardin, nuestra límites se reducen; nuestra causa parece pérdida ; y nuestra destina más allá del alcance.

Fuera del jardín, sentimos vergüenza, cupla, y pena; escuchamos ira, rechazo y acusación; nos vemos a nosotros mismos como incompletos, pecaminosos, y no deseados. 

A pesar de nuestras debilidades, limites, y emociones, Jesús nos ofrece un camino de regreso a la 

integridad.

Regreso de restauración y sanidad.

Regreso al jardín y nuestro destino.

Regreso a nuestra integridad y santidad y compañerismo con nuestro hacedor.

Jesús dijo: “Honrados los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia, pues ellos serán saciados.” (Matt 5:6)

En Cristo se Restaura la Integridad

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

 

 

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Water Cooler Observations, May 27, 2020

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By Stephen W. Hiemstra

I am all zoomed out.

It is not that I dislike Zoom or interacting with people online, but fatigue has set in. Cabin fever grows more stressful seeing the beautiful spring weather and needing to soldier on indoors alone. I am starting to understand why many people have thrown all caution to the wind and begun to party hardy. Still, I have enough sense not to engage in such behavior.

In recent years, my custom during the Memorial Day weekend is to make a bi-annual pilgrimage to Leesburg’s Outlet Mall. Normally, I would drive up before the opening on Friday so as to find a good parking place and walk the length of the mall visiting all the shops carrying men’s clothing. Then, ladened with all my bargain deals I would drive home for lunch.

This week I visited a men’s store online and ordered a few shirts. I did not purchase nearly as much as usual, but I am not sure where I would show off my new clothes anyway.

Local Corona Virus Statistics

Here in Centreville, Virginia we describe the local area as Western Fairfax,  which means that we sit on the border with Prince William County. Normally, we go to Fairfax Hospital, which is 4.8 miles east, but we could just as easily go to Prince William Hospital, which is 5.3 miles west.

Viewed through the lens of corona virus, the risk levels in the two counties are substantially different. During May, the average mortality rate in Fairfax County was 3.4 percent, while in Prince William County it was 2.3 percent. Fairfax County has had substantially more corona virus cases, an average 235 cases daily, while Prince Williams has had only 122 cases on average daily. The quality of care is likely not the determining factoring these differences.

Looking at the daily numbers for Fairfax County, the peak number of cases and deaths was reached in early May. On May 3, 31 people died while yesterday (May 25) only 4 deaths were reported.

Re-Open for Business?

The re-opening of many businesses and activities has started, but the consequences in terms of cases and deaths may not be immediately obvious. The numbers have been going up and down in waves during the week. This makes separating changes from normal variance difficult until broader averages are compared.

The politicization of the question of how to re-open is unfortunate, but it is a product of the class divisions separating the country right now. These divisions used to be between white-collar and blue-collar workers. Now, the division is between those able to work at home and those who cannot.

For those able to work at home, this pandemic will end once an effective vaccine becomes available. In the meantime, the financial impact may be rather minimal as long as you continue to work.

For those unable to work from home, the pandemic will likely end sooner as people get sick and recover (or not). Sheltering in place delays the onset of the virus, but the economic cost is direct and obvious because of lost work.

Political Implications

Because the financial impact of staying home and closed is much greater for some than for others and the class divide grows the longer businesses are closed, people have gotten vocal about getting back to work. Ironically, the political implications of are not necessarily obvious.

On the one hand, the White House usually gets blamedfairly or unfairlyfor a weak economy. Others have piled on in this blame game.

On the other hand, the White House has supported financial assistance to those hurt and has advocated strongly for re-opening the economy. And those arguing for a smart re-open strategy have been only partially successful in getting people to complyeven among the minorities hardest hit by this pandemic.

Given what has happened, this pandemic has probably been a political wash. How people interpret events is more likely influenced by their default political settings than by the government response. Turnout rates will likely be the deciding factor in the election once again.

Water Cooler Observations, May 27, 2020

Also see:

Water Cooler Observations, May 20, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, May 13, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, May 6, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 29, 2020

Interview about the Corona Life in English and Spanish with Stephen W. Hiemstra, April 24, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 22, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 15, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 8, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 1, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, March 25, 2020

Corona Virus Versus the Flu

Black Plague

CDC Flu Statistics

Managing Change 

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Release_2020

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Honor Losses with Grief

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Kenneth R. Mitchell and Herbert Anderson. 1983. All Our Losses; All Our Griefs: Resources for Pastoral Care. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Anniversaries can be painful. I remember one patient in the emergency department. He was loud; he was obnoxious; he was threatening. When I spoke to him, I was startled to learn he was also grieving—his brother had died at age 40 from alcohol abuse. He was now 40 and also abused alcohol. In remembering his brother, he also feared his own death. In All Our Losses: All Our Griefs, Kenneth Mitchell and Herbert Anderson remind us that grief can accompany losses other than death and is often mixed with other emotions.

Mitchell and Anderson start by observing that grief—the normal response to loss—is much more common than most people believe (9).  Their book is organized around three questions:  (1) Why do people grieve? (2) What are the dynamics of grief? And (3) how can we help those who grieve? (10-11). At the time of writing, both authors were professors of pastoral care.  Mitchell served at Eden Theological Seminary in Saint Louis; Anderson served at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Mitchell and Anderson observe that grief is both natural and unavoidable.  They write:  Just as there can be no life without attachments, there can be no attachments without eventual separation and loss.  Grief has its beginnings in the twin necessities of attachment and separation (21). One example of this principle of attachment and separation is the child before and after birth (20).  Another example is the child’s distinction between me and not me, and later—not me but mine and not mine (23).  All losses and separations are painful, in part, because they remind us of our limitations and eventual death (31).

Mitchell and Anderson identify six major types of loss, including:  1. Material loss, 2. Relationship loss, 3. Intra-psychic loss—loss of a dream, 4. Functional loss—including loss of autonomy, 5. Role loss—like retirement, and 6. Systemic loss—like departure from your family of origin (36-45).  They then go on to identify 5 attributes of those losses:  1. Avoidable or unavoidable, 2. Temporary or permanent, 3. Actual or imagined, 4. Anticipated or unanticipated, and 5. Leaving or being left (46-50).  Surprisingly, they observe that:  Growing up and leaving home involves…every form of loss but functional (51).  It is surprising because we often take the process of growing up for granted—consequently when problems arise as in the case of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) we are caught unaware and unprepared.

The complexity of grieve arises because it is more than just a single emotion and it includes physical responses as well.  Mitchell and Anderson cite 7 elements of grief: 1. Numbness, 2. Emptiness, loneliness, and isolation, 3. Fear and anxiety, 4. Guilt and shame, 5. Anger, 6. Sadness and despair, and 7. Somatization—physical reactions (61-81).

In my experience as a chaplain intern, I was struck by the pervasive nature of grief among the patients that I visited and by the number of physical ailments triggered by intense or unresolved grief.  Grief was a part of more hospital visits—especially in the psyche ward and the retirement facility—than any other factor.   Mitchell and Anderson suggest that care givers be sensitive to 4 elements.  Give people:  1. Permission and space to grieve, 2. Recognition of importance of and support for grief, 3. Encouragement to share, and 4. Help in reintegrating in life (111).  They remind us as caregivers of Jesus’ statement on the Sermon on the Mount:   Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 ESV; 165).

Among pastoral care professionals, Mitchell and Anderson’s book is a classic.  Grief and loss ministry remains underappreciated, in part, because death is an embarrassing subject in our youth-oriented, post-Christian society.  Because our culture denies death, the pain of death and other losses is amplified by ignorance and uncertainty.  Mitchell and Anderson shine a light into this dark corner of life.  As such, this book makes a helpful gift from time to time.

Honor Losses with Grief

Also see:

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

 

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Identity: Monday Monologues (podcast) May 25, 2020

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Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020 (Ken Burtram Photography)

Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020 (Ken Burtram Photography)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on identity. After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Identity: Monday Monologues (podcast) May 25, 2020

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

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Prayer for an Identity in Christ

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By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty Father,

You are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the one outside of time that created all things.

We praise you for providing the bread of life and well-spring of everlasting life which is your son, Jesus Christ—our redeemer, the author of our faith, and our only true friend.

We thank you for simple things, like family, bread to eat, clean water to drink, work to do, and friends in Christ.

Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to share our physical and spiritual gifts with those around us—first our family, then our friends, and even those we do not know well so that your name would be praised among the nations.

Forgive us when we play the fool out of pride, not for you, but out of our own ignorance.

Humble us that we might become worthy servants of your church and not ourselves.Help us to find our identity in you— not in our friends, nor in our wealth nor in our accomplishments, but in you—so that if we play the fool, it is for you and you alone.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Prayer for an Identity in Chris

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

 

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Oración para una Identidad en Cristo

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Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre Todopoderoso,

Eres el alfa y el omega, el principio y el fin, el que está fuera del tiempo que creó todas las cosas.

Te alabamos por proporcionar el pan de vida y el manantial de la vida eterna la que es tu hijo, Jesucristo—nuestra redentor, el autor de nuestra fe, y nuestro único verdadero amigo.

Te agradecemos por cosas simples, como familia, pan para comer, limpia agua para beber, trabajo para hacer, y amigos en Cristo.

A través de poder de tu Espíritu Santo, ayúdanos a compartir nuestros dones ambos físicos y espirituales con quienes nos rodean—primero nuestra familia, luego nuestros amigos e incluso aquellos que no conocemos bien para que tu nombre sea se alabado entre las naciones.

Perdónanos cuando jugamos el necio por orgullo, no por ti, sino por nuestra propia ignorancia.

Humíldenos que convertimos sirvientes dignos de tu iglesia y no de nosotros mismos. Ayúdanos a encontrar nuestra identidad en ti—ni en nuestros amigos, ni en nuestras riqueza, ni en nuestras logros, sino en ti—de modo que si jugamos el necio, es para tí y solo tí.

En el precioso nombre de Jesús, Amén.

Oración para una Identidad en Cristo

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

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Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Fools for Christ

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We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong.You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst,we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure. (1 Cor 4:10–12)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

What are you willing to suffer for? What is your passion? (Matt 6:21)

Apostle Paul’s passion was the Gospel and he lived the life of an itinerant evangelist. Paul never married nor had any children and, in spite of being highly educated, gave up a priestly or academic life. When Paul described himself as a fool for Christ (2 Cor 12:10–11), his Jewish parents probably agreed.

Imagine attending your thirtieth doctoral reunion and rising to address your fellow graduates, saying:

I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2 Cor 11:23–28)

Unlikely to have been church leaders, Paul’s classmates were more likely to have been synagogue leaders, high priests, government officials, and college professors. Unlike many of these, Paul hungered and thirsted for righteousness, treated his suffering like a resume, and refused a salary at one point to maintain the integrity of his Gospel message (1 Cor 9:4; 2 Cor 11:7). Like the one who sent him, Paul strived to live life righteously.

No doubt, Paul’s life of integrity also put him in tension with God. For example, God’s answer to his prayer over a thorn in the flesh—“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9)—likely caused Paul much anguish before he developed the serenity to boast about God’s object lesson.

Another such object lesson is the Eucharist which reminds us of Christ by focusing on objects of hunger (bread) and thirst (water/wine), much like several of Jesus’ miracles. Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine (John 2:1–10) while others involved multiplying bread and fish (John 4:32, 6:11). The transformation of simple things like food and water into sacred objects must have perplexed the Greeks who looked down on the physical world (earth), but looked up to the spiritual world (heaven).

The sacraments and Jesus’ miracles point to a simple but important spiritual reality: “Man shall not live by bread alone.” (Luke 4:4; Deut 8:3) Just as a sacrament is an outward sign with an inward meaning, physical things and circumstances have both outward and inner meanings associated with them, which, for example, leads Paul to describe the body as the temple of God (1 Cor 6:19). If the physical body can become the temple of God and mere food and drink can be sacraments, then food and drink stand at an important boundary between the physical and spiritual realms where spiritual transformation can take place and God’s love can be expressed as care for the poor and hungry.

For example, God identifies himself directly with the poor and hungry in the final judgment, as we read: Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? (Matt 25:37) Here, attitude and actions regarding the poor and hungry directly identify Christ’s followers, modeled on the charity of Christ himself: “And he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” (Rev 21:6)If Jesus practices charity, then we should too because our charitable obligation depends, not on the good behavior of the recipients, but on our own identity in Christ:

if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Matt 5:43–46, Rom 12:20–21)

Our identity in Christ leads us, not to judge the sinful, but to help the needy, as we read: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17) Living in a wealthy nation, our charitable obligation—providing for the physical needs of those less fortunate—is bigger than most.

If the first sin of the Bible was to lust after a tree fruit (Gen 6), then the mark of the disciple would be to model Christ’s abundant provision (Rev 21:6) and to defeat the urge to sin.

Fools for Christ

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

 

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Necios por Cristo

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Nosotros somos necios por amor de Cristo, pero ustedes, prudentes en Cristo. Nosotros somos débiles, pero ustedes, fuertes. Ustedes son distinguidos, pero nosotros, sin honra. Hasta el momento presente pasamos hambre y sed, andamos mal vestidos, somos maltratados y no tenemos dónde vivir. (1 Cor 4:10-11)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

¿Para qué estás listo a sufrir? ¿Cuál es tu pasión? (Matt 6:21)

La pasión del apóstol Pablo  era el evangelico y vivió la vida de un evangelista itinerante. Pablo nunca se casóni tuvo ninguno niños y, a pesar de ser educado altísimo, abandonó una vida sacerdotal o académica. Cuando Pablo describió si mismo como un tonto para Cristo (2 Cor 12:10-11), su padres judíos estuvieron probablemente de acuerdo.

Imagínese asistir a su trigésima reunión doctoral y levantarse para dirigirse a sus compañeros graduados, diciendo:

¿Son servidores de Cristo? (Hablo como si hubiera perdido el juicio) yo más. En muchos más trabajos, en muchas más cárceles, en azotes un sinnúmero de veces, con frecuencia en peligros de muerte. Cinco veces he recibido de los Judíos treinta y nueve azotes. Tres veces he sido golpeado con varas, una vez fui apedreado, tres veces naufragué, y he pasado una noche y un día en lo profundo. Con frecuencia en viajes, en peligros de ríos, peligros de salteadores, peligros de mis compatriotas, peligros de los Gentiles, peligros en la ciudad, peligros en el desierto, peligros en el mar, peligros entre falsos hermanos; en trabajos y fatigas, en muchas noches de desvelo, en hambre y sed, con frecuencia sin comida, en frío y desnudez. Además de tales cosas externas, está sobre mí la presión cotidiana de la preocupación por todas las iglesias. (2 Cor 11:23-28)

Es poco probable que hayan sido líderes de la iglesia, los compañeros de clases de Pablos tenían más probablemente de haber sido llíderes de sinagogas, sumos sacerdotes, funcionarios del gobierno, y profesores de la colegia. A diferencia de muchos de estos, Pablo tuvo hambre y sed para rectitude, trató su sufrimiento como un resume, y rechazó un salario en un punto a mantener la integridad de su mensaje evangelica (1 Cor 9:42; 2 Cor 11:7). Al igual que el quien lo envió, Pablo trabajo a vivir la vida con rectitud.

Sin duda, la vida de integridad de Pablo también lo puso en tensión con Dios. Por ejemplo, la respuesta de Dios sobre de su oración sobre su espina en la carne—“Te basta mi gracia, pues mi poder se perfecciona en la debilidad.” (2 Cor 12:9)—causó mucha angustia a Pablo antes de desarrollar la serenidad a jactarse sobre la lección objetiva de Dios.

Otra lección objetiva es la Eucaristía, que nos recuerda a Cristo al enfocarnos en objetos de hambre (pan) y sed (agua/vino), muy parecidos a varios milagros de Jesús. El primer milagro de Jesús fue convertir el agua en vino (John 2:1-10), mientras otros consistió en multiplicar el pan y el pescado (John 4:32, 6:11). La transformación de cosas simple como alimentos y agua en objetos sagrados debe haber perplexodo los griegos quien no respetan al mundo físico (terreno), pero respetan al mundo espiritual (cielo).

Los sacramentos y los milagros de Jesús apuntan a una realidad espiritual que es simple pero importante: “No solo de pan vivirá el hombre.” (Luke 4:4; Deut 8:3)  Así como un sacramento es un signo externo con un significado interno, cosas fisicas y circunstancias ambas tienen significados externos y internos asociados con ellos,  lo que, por ejemplo, lleva a Pablo a describir el cuerpo como un templo de Dios (1 Cor 6:19). Si el cuerpo físico puede convertirse en un templo de Dios y mero alimentos y bebidas pueden ser sacramentos, entonces alimentos y bebidas se encuentran en una frontera importante entre el reino físico y espiritual donde  las transformaciones espirituales puede tener lugar y el amor de Dios pueden expresarse como cuidado para el pobre y hambriento. 

Por ejemplo, Dios se identica directamente con los pobres y hambrientos en el juicio final, mientras leemos:  Entonces los justos le responderán, diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento y te dimos de comer, o sediento y te dimos de beber? (Matt 25:37) Aqui, la actitud y las acciones con respeto a los pobres y hambrientos identifican directamente los seguidores de Cristo, siguiendo el modelo de la caridad de Cristo mismo: “También me dijo: Hecho está. Yo soy el Alfa y la Omega, el Principio y el Fin. Al que tiene sed, yo le daré gratuitamente de la fuente del agua de la vida.” (Rev 21:6) Si Jesús practica caridad, entonces deberíamos también porque nuestra obligación caritativa depende, no del buen comportamiento de los receptores, sino de nuestra propia identidad en Cristo:

Pero si tu enemigo tiene hambre, dale de comer; y si tiene sed, dale de beber, porque haciendo esto carbones encendidos amontonaras sobre su cabeza. No seas vencido por el mal, sino vence el mal con el bien.  (Matt 5:43–46, Rom 12:20–21)

Nuestra identidad en Cristo nos lleva, no a juzgar a los pecadores, sino a ayudar a los necesitados, mientras leemos: “Porque Dios no envió a su hijo al mundo para juzgar al mundo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por el.” (John 3:17) Al vivir en una nación rica, nuestra obligación caritativa, que cubre las necesidades físicas de los menos afortunados, es mayor que la mayoría.

Si el primer pecado de la Biblia fuera codiciar un árbol de fruta (Gen 6), entonces la marca de un discípulo seria a modelar la provision abundante de Cristo (Rev 21:6) y vencer la tentación de pecar.

Necios por Crist

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: https://bit.ly/Ready_2020

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Water Cooler Observations, May 20, 2020

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By Stephen W. Hiemstra

As I write this morning (5/19/2020), the rate of increase in corona virus deaths in Fairfax County, Virginia and other places has begun to decline. Worldwide rates of increase in daily deaths that were at the end of April in 2 to 5 percent range are now in the 1 to 3 percent range. Calculus students will all remember that a maximum is reached when the rate of increase in change falls to zero. While this pandemic is clearly not over because we still do not have effective tests, treatments, and vaccines, these figures are encouraging.

What’s Changed?

In our family, 2020 is likely to be remembered as the year of the cook. Part of the pleasure of becoming reacquainted as a family has been a new found interesting in cooking shows, cookware, and much better meals. No gap between millennials and boomers has emerged in this trend. We are not only eating better, we are eating more healthy. Who would have thunk that a vegetarian dish could actually be tasty and filling?

Our relationship with technology has obviously changed. While I have participated in at least four Zoom conferences a week, my wife, Maryam, has learned to teach and interact with students online. Virtually every church now has an online service through Facebook, YouTube, or a streaming addition to their website. Many churches now also offer telephone worship for their seniors who are not tech savvy. Now that these skills and investments have been made and proven effective, it is likely that they will remain in service long after the pandemic is behind us.

As an author, I have noticed an increase in book sales. Because I write about Christian spirituality, this trend suggests that people are starting to pay greater attention to faith.

Phases of a Transition

A transition is a period of change consisting of three phases: beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning of a transition, one realizes that things are different but look backwards to the way things used to be. In the middle of a transition, no clear direction is apparent and uncertainty reaches a fever-pitch. In the end of a transition, the end of the tunnel is in sight and one begins to sprint towards it.

In early March we began this pandemic transition practicing a low of panic and believing that this crisis would last only a couple weeks. From mid-March until early May, we found ourselves in the middle phase where uncertainty, denial, and anger were readily obvious. This last week we began what will be a lengthy end phase to this transition.

The end phase is distinguished by the widespread appreciation for the need for testing and the development of vaccines and treatments. It will be a long end phase because appreciation of what needs to be done is constrained by the technical details of actually producing the required tests, vaccines, and treatments.

Innovation

The biblical transition most often discussed is the Exodus of the nation of Israel out of Egypt which was followed by forty years in the desert and entry into the Promised Land. In spite of the drama of the Exodus and the entry, it was the forty years in the desert where the people of Israel discovered their faith in God. In the middle of the transition, with all its uncertainty, we innovate and discover whose we really are.

A persistent question over the past couple weeks has been: how much of the faith and serenity of my grandparents arose because they lived through things like the Spanish flu, two world wars, and the Great Depression? We live in a similar season of trials and temptationswill we learn similar lessons? If so, which ones?

Water Cooler Observations, May 20, 2020

Also see:

Water Cooler Observations, May 13, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, May 6, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 29, 2020

Interview about the Corona Life in English and Spanish with Stephen W. Hiemstra, April 24, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 22, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 15, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 8, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, April 1, 2020

Water Cooler Observations, March 25, 2020

Corona Virus Versus the Flu

Black Plague

CDC Flu Statistics

Managing Change 

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/Release_2020

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