According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, May 20, 2011

Heaven Has A Name and It's Called Sidney

Resurrection | in memory of Sidyney

by Mason Slater
posted on May 19, 2011

A week and a half ago our cousin, Sydney Potjer, passed away due to complications from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

She was six years old.

Losing someone so young has been devastating, but that we had even six years with Sydney was a miracle. When diagnosed at one year old with SMA she was not expected to live past two. Yet due to her parents incredible 24-hour a day care for her, and her determination to keep fighting, she was able to be part of our lives for far longer.

In those six years Sydney touched many people, with her ready smile, infectious personality, and desire to see the best for everyone around her. This was evident at her funeral last week, when her entire class from school gathered to sing songs in her memory, and over 400 people attended the service.

Our local paper, the Grand Rapids Press, did an article on Sydney’s life which you can read here.

In it her mother, Kami, recounts a conversation she had with Syd “She was excited about going to heaven and seeing Jesus. She said, ‘I want to go there. I want to see Jesus.’ Of course, she wanted to come back home afterward.

That story was told a number of times over the week, and on the second or third telling it struck me. Yes, it’s cute, and sweet, and touching,

but it’s also spot on.

Sydney, unbeknownst to the reporter or most of those gathered to honor her memory, had summarized the Biblical hope far better than we often hear it from pulpits and professionals.

When God’s people die they do indeed go into his presence, protected and comforted by our Lord, but then, later, we do “come back home”.

And Jesus will be coming with us, to restore this place and set all things to rights.

This hope, of not just disembodied bliss in heaven but real grounded resurrection hope for new life and new creation, has been especially poignant over the past couple weeks.

It’s easy to intellectualize our theology, but right now resurrection has a face to it for me, Sydney’s. A girl who, because of her SMA, was bound to a power chair, and in the resurrection will be able to experience this place as she never was able to before.

I have no doubt that Sydney is free already of her illness, but someday she will be able to walk the fields of Byron Center, play a softball game without any help, even ride a horse.

And all of it will be free from the effects of sin, and death, and pain because, in his resurrection, Jesus was victorious over all that takes life from his people, and in his life we see the promise of the life to come.

Grace and peace.

*Images from the book Art that Tells the Story*

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