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Showing posts from July, 2017

Little League Prayers

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We were sitting at the beach on vacation with about a dozen family members when half a dozen phones beeped and/or vibrated in unison. A prayer request from a family member far away was sent out on the family group-chat:
“Please pray that so-and-so’s baseball team wins.”
The several conversations that were happening simultaneously on the beach united into one large chat about little league baseball. Aunts expressed their hopes for their nephew’s team; uncles asked questions about who was pitching and what the score was. At some point all of their eyes turned to me. My wife’s uncle asked the question many others were thinking:
“Scott, you’re a pastor. Are you going to pray for his team?”
Now, the polite answer would have been yes (even if it wasn’t true). But at this point in time, after days spent with extended family on vacation I had run out of politeness. So I simply said, “Hell no.” And then I went on a high and mighty tirade about spirituality in America.
Indignation consumed t…

Reckless Farming - Amazing Grace

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I’m just going to come right out and say it. God is a bad sower. God is a reckless farmer. God is a careless planter. In Sunday’s gospel reading Jesus tells the parable of a sower scattering seed. He says that as the farmer scattered seed some fell on the path, some fell on rocky ground, some fell in the thorns and some fell on good soil. Now, I’m an amateur gardener at best, but this much I do know: this is not the best strategy for sowing seed. 
In a world that is flooded with scarcity theories (i.e. that there is never enough) this is a hard parable to hear. Who would plant this way? We’re tempted to think. Haste makes waste. We lament. God, be more careful. We counsel. Don’t plant there. Don’t scatter there. Don’t squander seed. Don’t exhaust your resources in places that won’t produce. 
But what if we got over the assumption that the seed would run out? What if we knew that there was an overabundance of seed, a surplus so large it would never be exhausted? Would it change the way w…