The answer came in a off the cuff comment from the speaker at a ministers’ conference. He mentioned the Lord’s Supper and said in passing “He takes the bread because there would be no more sacrifice.” The scales fell from my eyes—maybe you had figured this out!—but I was so surprised by it and its wider implications I accidently let out a long loud whistle as I exhaled in surprise!
Think of it. He could have chosen the lamb, but he didn’t choose the lamb, because he wanted it to be clear to us that there was no more shedding of blood required. That this was a never-to-be-repeated sacrifice. This was a once-for-all sacrifice.
It struck me in that moment that this small act of washing this woman’s feet represented something much bigger, for it wasn’t my own love that this woman was experiencing. For the first time in her life, this woman was experiencing the love of Jesus Christ, True Love. A completely selfless, sacrificial, all-encompassing love that brings us peace and hope. It’s a love that brings about change. It’s a love that compels us to share it with others.
I never got to finish this woman’s pedicure. That night, this veteran dancer of fifteen years cleaned out her locker and left the strip club, never to return.
I fear that ignoring contexts continues to leave a huge segment of evangelicalism blind to human realities. For example, the Black Lives Movement, which has awakened and motivated many young people to issues of police brutality and the often unfair treatment that people of color face from those in civil authority, has been vastly oversimplified and minimized by many white evangelicals. Rarely do I see white evangelicals even attempt to see the world through the eyes of others.
The CDC report, which drew on data from 49 reporting areas, showed a decrease not only in total abortions, but also in the rate of abortions for every 1,000 females ages 15-44 (down 21 percent) as well as the ratio between abortion and every 1,000 live births (down 17 percent) since 2004. (California, Maryland, and New Hampshire did not provide data because the federal government does not require it.)
The report lists several factors behind the decrease in abortion: increased use of contraception, state regulation of abortion, mandatory waiting periods, parental involvement laws, and “increasing acceptance of nonmarital childbearing.”
Listening: This is a gift everyone of us wants. We want others to hear what we say. I am not talking about the words, but the meaning behind what we say. When we talk about our lives, our families, our successes, and our failures, we want others to respect us enough to listen with compassion. We are not always wanting others to solve our problems or to pat us on the back, but we do want to disclose part of who we are to those we trust. Are you listening?
However, Chip Gaines took to Twitter this weekend to tell fans to be respectful of the Buzzfeed article’s author that many media experts and fans called “off base.”
Regardless of our decision to make a statement about all this craziness, or not, I ask that people please! respect [Buzzfeed reporter] @KateAurthur,” Chip Gaines wrote on Twitter.
So my main advice for Politico, focused on the GetReligion angle, is pretty simple: When writing about a subject on which your knowledge is extremely lacking (say, Christian subculture lingo), be more careful with your laughable gotcha/scoop/exposé pieces based on 15-year-old quotes. Or something like that.
A student asked, of course, whether the Spurs were going to win a title, and here was one of the emotional high points of the day. Coach Popovich responded:
“Win the championship? I don’t know, but it’s not a priority in my life. I’d be much happier if I knew that my players were going to make society better, who had good families and who took care of the people around them. I’d get more satisfaction out of that than a title. I would love to win another championship, and we’ll work our butts off to try and do that. But we have to want more than success in our jobs.”