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Apr
18
2014

Good Friday and the Boston Marathon Bombers: The Terrorist on the Cross

Good Friday is the day in the Christian year when Christians look deeply into the mystery of the Cross of Jesus. 1 It is a solemn time for Christians, as we reflect on the suffering that Jesus endured. Some Christians recount in excruciatingly graphic detail all the various ways Jesus suffered. Other Christians reflect on those among us who are currently enduring suffering, and imagine ways we can be Jesus to them.

This year in Boston, this is also a time when Bostonians are looking back on the events of last year which powerfully impacted our city. Just over a year ago, the Boston Marathon was wrapping up, and many runners were nearing the finish line, when two explosions caused the deaths of three race spectators and the injuries of well over 200 more people.

In the days that followed that tragic act of terrorism, a manhunt was conducted in Boston and Cambridge which ended in Watertown only a few blocks from where my family and I live. 2 A suspect named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested, and his brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police. Both lived here in Cambridge, went to our schools, and were friends with our young people. They were members of our community.

This Good Friday, I'm particularly struck by one perspective on the Cross which has the potential to reframe all our thoughts on justice, on terrorists, and the system of sin in which we live. And ultimately, it reveals a God who is immensely worthy of worship.

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Apr
18
2013

Oz and the Cross: Reflections on God's Love and the Boston Marathon Bombings

 
Tuesday was my 31st birthday. In the days leading up to it, and on the day itself, I didn't really get the chance to reflect much. But now that a few days have passed, and I've sown up several loose ends, I'm looking back with renewed vision, and deep gratitude. Not only have I lived to see another year, I am also incredibly blessed with a wonderful family and greater clarity as to my calling in life than I've ever had. When I look back on who I was at 16, before I became a Jesus-disciple and entered this adventure called discipleship, I can't help but stand amazed at who God has made me, and continues to pour out grace on my life. I was a rage-filled, violent teenager on a self-destructive path. But the love of God transformed me, and every day I get to tell my story and witness God at work in the lives of others. I am a richly blessed man!

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Aug
25
2012

No, Sir: New England is Already Experiencing Revival—You Just Need Eyes to See It.

Boston Night of WorshipMy wife and I have owned six silver vehicles in our adult lives. Six! When most recently we were shopping for a new minivan to transport our three children along with ourselves, there was one color that was off the table. There was no way we were buying another silver vehicle! I never realized how many other maroon Kia minivans there were in the world until I began driving my own around town. Now I see them everywhere.

We tend to see what our eyes are tuned to see. And we tend to ignore what we have been trained not to see.

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Aug
18
2011

Stop Lying About My City: God is At Work in Boston Planting Churches

Church planters from the 'Bible Belt' and denominations that lean toward Fundamentalism are often moved bombastically to proclaim their mission to Boston in the starkest of terms. They view themselves as soldiers called to fight in a war against the forces of atheistic darkness or secular humanism [dun dun DUUUN]. Take this excerpt from a promotional video for church planting made by the Southern Baptists:

"The patriots' [who fought in the battle of Bunker Hill] Commander-in-Chief said, 'Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes'. They made a commitment to engage the enemy up close and personally. This epitomizes the church planting scene here in Boston, Massachusetts. We have been losing some battles, but we have decided we can win the war. Our supreme commander Jesus Christ is leading the charge in this spiritual battleground."

They sometimes describe themselves as pioneers braving the cruel frontier of a spiritual wasteland. They will cite skewed statistics that point to a bleak Christian presence and a defunct church. Now, I'm confident this sort of portrayal of Boston is highly effective at raising money from worrisome conservatives in Alabama and Mississippi, but I'd just like to publicly proclaim that IT ISN'T TRUE.

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Aug
16
2011

Recommended to Plant a New Church

There was a time in my Christian life when I lost faith in the church as a vehicle of social and personal transformation. Instead I planned to express my ministry gifts and calling in a parachurch context. I dreamed of serving as a director of a faith-based nonprofit. Certainly they are much better at transforming the world, I thought. In the last five to six years, however, my faith in the church has been restored. Not primarily because I have had the privilege of serving and belonging to better churches, although that is true too. My faith in the church as God's instrument of transformation has been renewed primarily because of a renewed conviction that what the world needs most is not a social service agency, but a worshiping community to which to belong that incarnates the love and justice of God. I have come to believe that the church is much more than merely a collection of people who think similarly and occasionally give to charity. Instead, I have found that the church of Jesus Christ is the mystical family of God that continues to incarnate God's love and justice in the world as Jesus her bridegroom shows her and commands her to.

At the same time, I have also discovered that my personality is much more conducive to a creative environment where I have freedom to exercise my gifts, dreams, and create new things—something established churches unfortunately tend not to be. So where can a called and creative minister thrive in God's chosen vehicle of social and personal transformation: the church? The answer Osheta and I have sensed God providing is church-planting. Church-planting is not only conducive to creative personalities, it requires them. Only creatives have the type of improvising skills to roll with all the various punches that accompany church-planting. So, for the last year or so Osheta and I have been pursuing this area of ministry and just this last week have crossed a very important threshold.

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Welcome to TheologicalGraffiti.com

T. C. and Tyson Moore

Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, urban minister, sometimes designer, writer, preacher, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

Shalom,
T. C.

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