True Martyrs

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They’re supposed to be safe there but they’re not. They’re vulnerable. Say the holy words. Remember Issa. — Homeland, Abu Nazir

Are you a martyr? This word carries with it certain connotations today. These are not necessarily the best or most loving connotations. Especially in the wake of terrorism and jihadism in the twenty-first century, martyrdom is associated with killing (often suicidal) for a religious cause. Or it is associated with dying, being killed, for belonging to a certain religious group, persecuted, often times, by a different religious group. But it was not always defined in this manner.

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Thy Kingdom Come

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Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Advent. It is a time that we used to remember and to experience. Some of still do, but we are surrounded by a culture steeped in its own materialism and eventually self-destruction. Advent is a time of expectation: an active waiting and longing for the coming of God to set things aright — to bring the exiles home, to establish peace, to abide with the people God has called. It is a time to begin anew, as the church calendar circles back to its start, to begin anew and to live for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is a time to pray, “Your Kingdom Come.”

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The Vagabond Church

Hitchhiker Jericho

 

vagabond: (adj) having no settled place or home.

Do you ever get that sense? You know, the one where everything goes strange. Nothing feels real or settled or at home; you don’t feel at home, even in your own home? Or perhaps you’ve experienced its brother-feeling: standing on an outcropping above a beautiful landscape, or hearing a piece of music that brings you to tears and you don’t know why. Something beautiful strikes you, both as other and as home. A home you’ve never entered, but one that you are always on the way to? And you get this feeling, this longing to be anywhere but here?

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When Kingdoms Meet

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“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” — Matthew 6:24

There are a few places along the course of the Amazon river where it flows parallel with another river. The “Meeting of the Waters” is probably the most famous example, where the Amazon is a cloudy, brown mess of a river and for almost six kilometers, it flows alongside a inky black river called the Negro. For six kilometers, these two do not mingle, but like all things, in the end, they are balanced out and form a single body of water, differences diluted out.

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The Ecumenical Project of Europe

“We are called to bethink ourselves of the Christian basics of Europe by forming a democratic model of governance which through reconciliation develops into a ‘community of peoples’ in freedom, equality, solidarity and peace and which is deeply rooted in Christian basic values.” — Robert Schuman

There are arguments for and against the “Christian” foundation of Europe. I am, for one, a supporter of the understanding that ‘Europe’ as a concept and as a project is deeply rooted in, as Schuman said, Christian basic values. Without the Judeo-Christian history unfolding in Europe, spreading itself across the continent and then the world, would such a unity or Union even be thinkable? But perhaps another important question, first addresses us: what is meant by Christian, since there are so many forms of Christianity across Europe itself?

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