But there was one thing that caught me off guard. One of the first things that you see when you walk into the exhibit is coats that were taken off of the backs of the Jewish prisoners before they were lead into the gas chambers.
At about eye level were two children's coats that would have fit my sons perfectly.
This was an inscription at the Jefferson Memorial. It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but the first half of the inscription is pretty amazing. It reads:
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."
We had a great trip and it was very refreshing, but it's nice to be back home and to tuck our babies in at night.
Brian suggest that instead of the term "Kingdom" of God we might use other terms interchangably. For example, the "Dream" of God, the "Revolution" of God, the "Mission" of God, the "Party" of God, the "Network" of God, and the "Dance" of God.
Side note; I get most of my reading done on the elliptical at the gym. By the time I got done reading the section I'm about to share with you I was unable to hold back tears. It was pretty embarrassing. When the dude with the tattoos and spiky hair starts boo hoo-ing on the elliptical, EVERYONE notices. They stare, they whisper, and they point their fingers. I thought the pointing was a bit overboard, but that's just me.
Here is an excerpt of the section that talks about the "Party" of God;
"The party of God. Jesus often compared the kingdom to parties, feasts, and banquets. Today we could say that God is inviting people to leave their gang fights and come to a party, to leave their workaholism and rat race and come to a party, to leave their loneliness and isolation and join the party, to leave their exclusive parties (political ones, for example, which win elections by dividing electorates) and join one inclusive party of a different sort, to stop fighting or complaining or hating or competing and instead start partying and celebrating the goodness and love of God.
Just today I met some folks from a church in
My friend Tony Campolo tells a true story that also serves as a great parable in this regard. He was in another time zone and couldn't sleep, so well after midnight he wandered down to a doughnut shop where, it turned out, local hookers also came at the end of a night of turning tricks. There, he overheard a conversation between two of them. One, named Agnes, said, "You know what? Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm gonna be thirty-nine." Her friend snapped back, "So what d'ya want from me? A birthday party? Huh? You want me to get a cake and sing happy birthday to you?" The first woman replied, "Aw, come on, why do you have to be so mean? Why do you have to put me down? I'm just sayin' it's my birthday. I don't want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I've never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?"
When they left, Tony got an idea. He asked the shop owner if Agnes came in every night, and when he replied in the affirmative, Tony invited him into a surprise party conspiracy. The shop owner's wife even got involved. Together they arranged for a cake, candles, and typical party decorations for Agnes, who was, to Tony, a complete stranger. The next night when she came in, they shouted, "Surprise!"-and Agnes couldn't believe her eyes. The doughnut shop patrons sang, and she began to cry so hard she could barely blow out the candles. When the time came to cut the cake, she asked if they'd mind if she didn't cut it, if she could bring it home-just to keep it for a while and savor the moment. So she left, carrying her cake like a treasure.
Tony led the guests in a prayer for Agnes, after which the shop owner told Tony he didn't realize Tony was a preacher. He asked what kind of church Tony came from, and Tony replied, "I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.” The shop owner couldn't believe him. "No you don't. There ain't no church like that. If there was, I'd join it. Yep, I'd join a church like that." Sadly, there are too few churches like that, but if more of us understand the secret message of Jesus, there will be lots more."
CLICK HERE to go to Brian McLaren's website
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