Showing posts from June, 2014

Packing for a Mission Trip

One week from today I will hop on a plane with the members of our team and fly off to Manitoba to spend a week together immersing ourselves in the ministry of the Winnipeg Inner City Mission (WICM). I expect that I will be experiencing many things during my time there. We will be witnessing firsthand the very real issues and problems created by poverty in the inner city of Winnipeg. Also, since the inner city of Winnipeg has a very high First Nations population and Native ministries is a very big focus at WICM, I expect to be exposed to the issues, problems and challenges that are particularly important to native people today.

Anytime I take a major trip, I spend time thinking about what I ought to take with me, how to pack and worrying about what I might forget. This trip will be no different. But packing for a mission trip is surely a little different. On a trip like this, yes, I will need to remember things like my toothbrush and razor, but what else might be essential? What else s…

Christian Reflections on Prostitution

Lately I have been doing a lot of reflection on the genealogy of Jesus that is offered in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. (This is part preparation for a series of sermons in November and part preparation for a book I hope to write about Matthew's nativity story.)

It has long been noted that, in this genealogy, Matthew names four woman apart from Mary, the mother of Jesus. These women are: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. (Bathsheba is not actually named but referred to as "the wife of Uriah.) People have long puzzled over the naming of these women as, in ancient Mediterranean society, women were considered to be utterly unimportant in all kinds of ways and so were never mentioned in genealogies. I don't know why Matthew felt he needed to name them but I suspect that it may have something to do with the social scandals that surrounded each of these women in the Old Testament traditions.

These days, I am particularly noticing the fact that the Bible identifies…