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Showing posts from November, 2017

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly about "Thoughts & Prayers"

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Why do we pray for people who experience hardship? There's talk within our broader society about whether we should send "thoughts and prayers" out for those who experience tragedy or who face a crisis. Is there anything wrong with offering to pray?
The reason for the backlash is that words frequently come across as empty. I've witnessed the tragedy of empty words. I've been with well-meaning Christians who visit the sick in the hospital or who try to comfort someone during a crisis. I'll most likely cringe if you utter these words, "If there's anything you need, let me know."
Why do I react negatively? I have to qualify that there are a handful of people I know in the world who can say that and be totally genuine about it. But for everyone else, you don't understand the potential price of what you're offering. You may mean well. But too often it's a cliché which confuses being nice with making yourself look good: "Let's do lun…

All Saints Day

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November 1 is a day for remembering those who have died in the Lord. It may mean little to you if you don't have much involvement with Catholics, Anglicans and other high-church traditions. Yet for many believers around the world, this is a solemn occasion for decorating gravestones and reflecting upon loved ones.

Catholic terminology can lead some to believe that only a select few Christians get to be saints. The Bible teaches that all baptized individuals are now with God and therefore saints. The Roman Catholic Church in fact supports this vantage point.

No one knows exactly how or why churches started celebrating a day of remembrance for the dead. There are various references to such occasions starting in the 4th century. Pope Boniface IV gathered the bones of martyrs from the Roman catacombs and re-entombed them beneath the Pantheon. In so doing, he dedicated a time to remember all the saints. This was in May, not November. The practice as we know it on November 1 took root som…