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Joachim Elsander

“Know O beautiful soul that you are made in the image of God. Know that you are the glory of God.”
St. Ambrose of Milan

"It might have been just someone else’s story,
Some chosen people get a special king.
We leave them to their own peculiar glory,
We don’t belong, it doesn’t mean a thing."

"It is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world."
--Mary Oliver, Red Bird

"If there really is a God like this—a God who understands and controls things so big my calculator has to use a letter to get it across, who is also a God who walked among a tiny tribe of ancient people called Israelites, who allowed them to write about him in their tiny ancient ways, and who subjected himself to suffering and death (what we work so hard to avoid), well. . .

I think we’re talking mystery here, people."

This animation of president Trumps handshake was made by a guy in my little Swedish hometown. It's really spot on.

"They sought to soar into the skies
Those classic gods of high renown
For lofty pride aspires to rise
But you came down.

You dropped down from the mountains sheer
Forsook the eagle for the dove
The other Gods demanded fear
But you gave love

Where chiselled marble seemed to freeze
Their abstract and perfected form
Compassion brought you to your knees
Your blood was warm"

"This Christmas, by all means remember the angels and the shepherds and the magi and the little boy-child Jesus in his manger. But also remember this mother and her child on the streets of Bethlehem. And remember that the coming of the Christ was to set in train a revolution of love and justice that would eventually sweep away all tyrants and free all victims and end all wars."

Poor Santa in this little masterpiece by Neil Gaiman.

One of my Christmas favorites, found the picture here so much hope in this one.

Mary and Jesus by Parker Fitzgerald

But the truth is that Advent is quite different from Christmas as it carries its strong theme of prophetic lament. The world has gone wrong, justice lies fallen in the streets, and it seems that God is nowhere to be found. That’s when the lamentation of waiting arises in our soul: “O Lord, how long?” 

Waiting For God To Act - Brian Zahnd

Churches should be pointless.
Pointless like my family is pointless. My family is not without its problems and issues, but it is a vibrant, rich, joyful and dynamic community. But it is completely pointless. It doesn’t mean things don’t happen or that we haven’t had an affect on others or the world. But we are pointless. We’re not even intentionally pointless. We are just pointless. And I love it for that. That’s why I love to go home every day and just be, just relax, just love and be LOVED. DH

"The McDonaldization of the miraculous. Reverend Ronald McDonald as a healing evangelist. I’m convinced the vaudevillian aspect of Charismatic Christianity is not a demonstration of faith, but just the opposite: It betrays an underlying unbelief — a doubt that any of it is real. And if it’s not real…well, we might as well fake it."

“So, is there an afterlife, and if so, what will it be like? I don’t have a clue. But I am confident that the one who has buoyed us up in life will also buoy us up through death. We die into God. What more that means, I do not know. But that is all I need to know.” 
Marcus Borg

I have a problem with the Bible. Here’s my problem…
I’m an ancient Egyptian. I’m a comfortable Babylonian. I’m a Roman in his villa.
That’s my problem. See, I’m trying to read the Bible for all it’s worth, but I’m not a Hebrew slave suffering in Egypt. I’m not a conquered Judean deported to Babylon. I’m not a first century Jew living under Roman occupation.
I’m a citizen of a superpower. I was born among the conquerors."