Tag Archives: response

Jesus’ Pastoral Care (2 of 2)

What kind of pastoral care did Jesus provide?

I continued to consider this question at our small group this week when we read the story of the man born blind from John 9. Jesus makes some mud, puts it on the eyes of a man who was born blind and sends him to wash in the pool of Siloam in verse 11. The man’s sight is restored and he has a series of run ins with the religious leaders of the day and Jesus is nowhere to be found.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.

I don’t know. Where is Jesus? He disappears from the picture until verse 35.

It is important to walk with people through difficulty times in their life, but it is not necessary to walk every step of the way with them.

What do you learn about Jesus’ pastoral care from this story?

Jesus’ Pastoral Care (1 of 2)

What kind of pastoral care did Jesus provide?

I was challenged to consider this question by a co-worker last week who used the story of Lazarus as an example. Here are the opening lines of this narrative from John 11, TNIV:

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)

3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

Mary, Martha and Lazarus may have been some of Jesus’ closest friends outside of the twelve men who traveled with him. Jesus receives word that Lazarus is sick (in the hospital or hospice, if it were today, as we know from the story that he is near death) and Jesus proceeds to respond by staying where is for two days.

Two days is a long time when your best friend is near death.

There is little that is truly urgent in pastoral care.

What do you learn about Jesus’ pastoral care from this story?

#6qumc – Data (5 of 5)

6 Questions for The United Methodist Church is an open project and I have been encouraged by the response.

If you are interested in data of participation from the project check it out at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=r06wd0oDSanzEZ3I9gWArVQ&output=html

Data for the day should be added in the morning. Feel free to use the data how you want.

By September 30, I believe that it is possible to see 10,000 people submit 2,500 questions and cast 75,000 votes.

What do you think?

To participate visit: http://bit.ly/6qumc

To read more, visit: http://www.umcyoungclergy.com/6qumc

How should I relate to my gay child?

I received this question from a blog reader like you. Do you have a question? Check out this post to let me know.

Here is a comment are excerpts from a comment that I received on a post this month:

Andrew,  I have something that I need to comment about and to ask your opinion on.  I have two children that I love very much.  My son is educated, kind and very well established in his profession.  He is also gay, although not “looking” for a partner.  He is very religious and in fact led us to COR.  He has since been transferred [out of state] and I miss him so much.  [He] has been influential in my spiritual growth by his deep faith in Jesus even though he is not accepted by most Christians.  I must admit that I was one of the “holier than thou” people and I rejected him for several years.  I so regret my actions. …

At first I thought God had surely turned His back on me since my two children were not the”norm”.  I now feel chosen to have them in my family.  I am blessed each day by having known them and feel called by God to have them in my family.  I have grown to love so much more deeply by having known and loved them.  Please pray for the World to love and accept them.

I do not have any better response on how to relate to your son than the one that you expressed already. I do not believe that one’s sexual orientation has a correlation to one’s discipleship nor necessarily to family relationships.

I believe that a person of any sexual orientation can be on the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.

I believe that a person of any sexual orientation can have positive relationships with family and friends.

How should one relate to a gay child? As you would relate to any of one’s children. Love, care and respect.

Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry

Does that title make sense to you? It is going to make more sense to me this week. I am currently a probationary member of the Kansas West Annual Conference. I am in a time of preparation for ordination. One of the requirements for ordination is to respond to a series of theological questions in written form. I am taking part in this event – Kaleidoscope: Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry – A United Methodist Probationers’ Seminar – in preparation for responding to these questions. From the website:

Candler School of Theology and Gammon Theological Seminary invite you to attend a two-day intensive lecture series for probationary members. The series will focus on the theology inherent in the questions required for full connection in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. Because these questions focus on the integration of theology and the practice of ministry, each session of the seminar will include a lecture presented by a faculty member or church leader followed by a presentation by an elder or deacon who will describe how they integrate that particular theological concept with their practice of ministry.

Nicole and I are going to be flying to Atlanta on Wednesday for this event and will be back on Friday. Are you going to be there? Make sure and leave a comment…

Holiday in Hellmouth: God and Suffering

My first experience of reading from The New Yorker was James Wood article, Holiday in Hellmouth:God may be dead, but the question of why he permits suffering lives on. Although this article was a review of the book God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer by Bart Ehrman, Wood addresses God and suffering in a well thought out article that seems to move beyond the scope of the book being reviewed.

I enjoyed reading the article and found it to be well written and articulate. Wood outlines many of the common responses to the question of the reality of both evil and a good and loving God. I am comfortable with two of the responses that Wood gives – God suffers with us and that the reality of free will allows evil to happen. In contrast to Wood, I believe that suffering does not limit God’s power. Also, I would make a distinction between the free will given to humanity and the regular workings of the natural world.

In Woods’ final paragraphs, he concludes that the hope for a second coming puts off and does not adequately address the question of suffering. Woods asserts that the hope for a new heaven and earth leaves the question – Why not now, God? What is the point of this life when a new one is coming? Here I see Woods response as deficient. Woods addresses free will in relationship to suffering, but does not address free will in relationship to the possible good that comes of the ability for us to accept God’s grace and live as a part of God’s kingdom today. I believe that we have the opportunity to live by the customs and norms of God’s coming kingdom and be a part of God’s kingdom here on earth. Is there the possibility to suffering as a result of free will? Yes. Is there the possibility for good as a result of free will. Also, yes.

I recommend the article and welcome your comments both on it and my response.

In what way does God answer prayer?

I received the following email from a Resurrection attender this week. I have included my response below and some additional thoughts. It has been edited for anonymity

Email Received:
A friend of mine has a perspective on prayer that falls under what the internet refers to as Prosperity Gospel. She repeatedly says, “If I pray hard enough, God will make it happen.” Interestingly, her latest comment relates to her pregnancy where she says she is praying hard (and is fully convinced) that God will grant her a little girl. I tend to disagree with this perspective because it makes it about the person and not God. God answers prayers, but for his purposes not ours. We will always get a yes, no, maybe later type of answer.

Any thoughts?

My Response:
In response to the “If I pray hard enough, God will make it happen.” I do not think that prayer will direct the gender of an unborn child. I agree with the types of responses that you suggest to prayer. This question also touches a bit on open theology – How and in what way does God respond to prayers? How does prayer make a difference? These are questions that I continue to think about.

What do you think, dear reader?

Why were the disciples afraid to ask him when they did not understand?

I have had the opportunity to lead the Builders Sunday Morning Small Group for three weeks studying the gospel according to Mark. This question was from a breakout group studying Mark 8:31-9:1, 9:30-32 and 10:32.34.

Another good question about fear. I could see the disciples feeling as if they should understand what Jesus was teaching them. I know that my response when I do not know what is going on is sometimes to pretend like I do or hope that I will figure it out. Another member of the class suggested later that perhaps the disciples thought that they would have time to figure out what Jesus really meant by his predictions of death.

What do you think?

You can find previous responses to questions coming from this class here:

Is Peter acting out of fear when he rebukes Jesus for announcing he is going to die?

I have had the opportunity to lead the Builders Sunday Morning Small Group for three weeks studying the gospel according to Mark. This question was from a breakout group studying Mark 8:31-9:1, 9:30-32 and 10:32.34.

I think that this is very likely. Peter makes a declaration that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah and then Jesus goes on to announce his upcoming death. Wow. What a shift for someone (Peter) who has left everything that he has to follow a man toward a destination about which he may not be exactly clear. Feelings of uncertainty, fear, regret and many others may have been at work in this response.

You can find previous responses to questions coming from this class here: