https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2020/01/ben-white-3Ro1gtbw0sY-unsplash-scaled.jpg15352048Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2020-01-17 14:00:272020-01-17 14:00:27Getting It Right Sometimes Takes a Few Tries. And That's Okay.
“Now, remember, Steven, if you run into any trouble out there, you can always bail. There’s never any shame in bailing.”-Greg Universe
The quote above comes from Steven Universe, a children’s cartoon that often promotes messages about healthy emotions and decision making to children and adults alike. It comes from Greg Universe, father of the title character, right before his son attempts something that is both very exciting and unlikely to work. Although his words are few, his message is profound: sometimes, even when we don’t feel like we should, it’s okay to stop. It can be better to abandon the plan than to try and force yourself into something that you know just isn’t going to be worth it.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2020/01/niklas-kickl-lr7rCduoXI8-unsplash-scaled.jpg16132048Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2020-01-10 15:35:262020-01-10 15:36:10Children's Ministry, Failure, and Why Sometimes It's Okay to Bail
It’s not that I’m a big fan of failure, it’s just that I’ve had enough gaffes to know that if they haven’t killed me yet, they likely won’t. And as someone who values authenticity and vulnerability, sharing our failures is often a way to cut through the b.s. that’s so much a part of the world.
God’s love is endlessly surprising, uncontainable, unexpected, unconventional, boundary-breaking, against the rules. And that – a love that refuses to be ordinary, expected, or contained – a love that breaks the rules – is really what the birth of Jesus, and frankly his whole life, and death, and resurrection are all about.
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Perhaps joy has an important role to play after all. We are surrounded by mess and chaos and a world that sometimes seems like it’s on the brink of being lost entirely. It’s a slog. It’s exhausting. But joy is what reminds us why love, and hope, and faith are worth fighting for. It’s what reminds us that the hard things, no matter how much it may feel like they’re winning, they don’t get the final word. God does. And that is good news.
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Our faith dares us, in this season and always, to believe that a better world, a better way, is possible. And we are called to recognize that taking hold of hope, moving toward that better world, requires that we relinquish our white knuckle grasp on the broken ways of this world. After all, we cannot take hold of plowshares and pruning hooks if our hands are still full of swords and spears.
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The truth is that believing the promise of peace means recognizing that we have work to do. In faith, we must do whatever we can to help create a world that is both loving and just, and only then can true peace be fully realized.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2019/12/waterNEXT.jpg15362048Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2019-12-08 17:04:012019-12-08 17:04:01Waters of Justice for a Flood of Peace: an Advent reflection