Lent

Scandalous Love

A LENTEN MEDITATION

FullSizeRender.jpg

The notion of royalty these days no longer just means monarchy. They also refer to celebrities of our day who get the "royal" treatment. We have celebrities in the secular world. We also have celebrities in the religious world. In whatever stripe they come, the usual signs of power and influence in the world unmistakably accompany them - pomp, pageantry, wealth, fame, luxury, and the adulation of many.

But nowhere else do the ways of the world and ways of Jesus diverge than on the issue of power.

Lent has essentially disciplined us to follow the gospel story of Jesus' ministry and teachings that all lead to his entry into Jerusalem  - his confrontation with the religious powers who were  in cahoots with imperial Rome, the Last Supper, the lonely agony in the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal by Judas, the denial of Peter, the humiliation before Herod and Pilate, and the shouts of the crowds for his death, "crucify him!"

"I am among you as one who serves", Jesus said to his disciples during the last Passover meal they were to share together on earth. These words remain to be antithetical to the world's understanding of power, and continue to be the most challenging gospel imperative that even the church finds difficult to appropriate. Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion and death was to proclaim the scandalous love of God, a scandalous kind of power - one made perfect in weakness.

What are the implications of this scandalous love for us today? God's love in Christ is not passive love. It is active, irrepressible love because it always seeks the other. Its cause is to bring back the alienated and the estranged. This is why that the public face of love is always justice, because its very nature rights every wrong. And herein lies the power of love - in its radical other-centredness.

What are the implications of this scandalous love to the church today? What did Jesus confront and resist?

What's On Your Lent Menu?

A few days ago three of us in the region office staff went to get a sandwich for lunch at the neighboring Primo's Hoagie Shop. Placed prominently up front next to cashier's box was this  "Lent Menu", obviously made with non-meat products - hearkening to the popular tradition of fasting during Lent which has evolved to simply mean "depriving" one's self of certain enjoyable food - in this case, meat products. And to a certain degree, Lent in America has taken on a cartoonish visage. This morning the news showed a clip of Alec Baldwin who was a guest of Jimmy Kimmel the night before, having a jovial conversation about Lent. It turns out that both are Catholics. Asked what he is giving up for Lent, Baldwin responded, to the laughter of the audience, that he once tried to give up cursing, being the foul-mouthed person that he claims to be.

What does Lent mean to you? Is it fasting from your favorite food? Is it giving up momentarily and lightheartedly a peculiar habit?

The gospel writers made a theological connection between the wilderness wandering of the Hebrew slaves, and Jesus' sojourn in the wilderness following his baptism. Whether the number 40 is an actual mathematical number is not the main point of the assertion. Rather, the salient theological basis of the connection is that as God's incarnate Son, Jesus is the "New Israel", God's final covenant, and the inner unity of the Old Testament and the New Testament is celebrated. 

We are once again in the season of Lent, the 40-day period (Quadragesima in Latin; and Cuaresma in Spanish) in the Christian liturgical calendar which began on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter Sunday. Yet this very sacred season in Christianity has almost been subsumed in our predominantly consumerist, individualistic and secularized religion of American popular culture. 

The sanctuary of The Riverside Church in New York City

The sanctuary of The Riverside Church in New York City

The Lenten season is a period when the Christian believer is invited back to enter the "sanctuary" of God's presence, the pathway of Jesus - to once again walk in his footsteps, that in so doing we are renewed and reanchored in this lifetime journey of being formed ever closer into the image of Christ. Lent is a time of disciplined spiritual reflection, spiritual self-emptying, repentance and atonement as preparation to commemorate the sacrificial and loving self-giving of God through Jesus and his cross. It is a time to rededicate ourselves to the never-ending ethical imperative of the disciple to be a living and faithful example of whom we follow. 

These words from the prophet Amos instruct us:

"I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream." Amos 5: 21-24 (NRSV) 

The Journey of Lent

sandy-recovery-2014-3.jpg

What is the spiritual significance of Lent? Why do we take this 40-day journey? Is it just a time to give up sweets or caffeine as some sort of sacrifice? Or is there perhaps something more, a greater purpose to this time? There are several forty-day periods recorded in the Bible. One was when Moses went up to the mountain to pray and fast; concluding with his receiving of the Ten Commandments. Another was the time when Elijah withdrew to the cave in the side of Mount Horeb. And there was the experience of Jesus in the wilderness following his baptism; which climaxed with the temptation. Each of these periods was a time of fasting and prayer, of self-discipline and self-denial. And each was charged with some great spiritual experience.

Perhaps this is the best way for us to understand and approach Lent. To take these 40 days, plus six Sundays, and enter a time of meditation, prayer, and even self-denial in the hope that we too might enter more fully into the spiritual experience of Easter. Perhaps this is a good time to ask ourselves what we need to do in order that we might be better equipped and more free to serve our Lord.

This Lent I encourage you to embark on a journey of discovery. A journey with Jesus to the cross. Walk with him, hear him speak, listen to him teach, watch him heal, share his compassion, feel his sorrow, understand his pain, weep at Calvary...but don’t stay there. Join Mary at the empty tomb on Easter morning where you too can proclaim “He is Risen; He is Risen indeed!”

Perhaps, in the end, rather than having given up something, we will receive far more than we could ever imagine.

Avatars and the False-Self

Avatar1.jpg

A Meditation on Ash Wednesday and Lent

Matthew 6: 1-6 Matthew 6: 16-21

Looking for something to hold on to as Christians begin a vitally important liturgical season tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015, I am reminded of a sermon that I published two years ago on this website. Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of the 40-day liturgical observance of the Passion of Jesus, leading up to his crucifixion. Two years do not seem too long ago, but as I gaze at the present landscape on which our faith continues to strive to appropriate itself,  I couldn't add anything new to this meditation that I wrote then. Its words remain as relevant to me now as it was two years ago. So I am reprinting it here, in the hope that I can make a little contribution to your own lenten journey in this season.

“So what is thing called Lent anyway?” was the title of an Ash Wednesday video vignette from the CNN online edition, where a man, narrates the meaning of Lent. After a cursory overview about the meaning of Lent among Christians, the video immediately faded out into a few pedestrian interviews, asking people what they are going to giving up for Lent – one said fat burgers, the others said meat, another said his Segway scooter and start walking, and another young lady said give up a lazy lifestyle and start exercising. Then the narrator eventually – or perhaps inevitably - made the connection between Fat Tuesday and Lent, saying that the revelry, festivals, the eating and carousing that happens on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, is a cultural American practice of feeding up all our the worldly appetites before the season of fasting begins – like a bear fattening up with food before hibernating in winter! Needless to say, the premise already makes a mockery of Lent.

This is why many critiques of prevailing attitudes toward Lent in Christian America raise doubts whether there is a serious appreciation of the meaning of self-denial as a Lenten discipline in our culture. In the view of many, Christians in America are remaking Lent as a type of spiritual self-help whose effectiveness is measured by how well it entertains us and affirms what we already believe…seasonal sacrifices, if observed at all, tend to be superfluous. For Catholics, “abstaining” can now consist of sumptuous fish dinners on Fridays. Some Protestants (especially us Baptists!) conveniently avoid sacrifice or fasting altogether – if no one can earn divine favor, as we say in Baptist (and Reformed) tradition, why bother? Still others bring a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, marked by promises to exercise daily or do without sweets for a few weeks. In all these, true self-deprivation is rare.

We live in a culture of constant self-gratification. It is the norm for Americans of any degree of privilege. The sad result of being in a culture of constant gratification of the physical senses is that we lose any sense of mystery and wonder. Gratification dulls that imagination and healthy spirituality loses out to the pursuit of the ultimate experience of sating our physical impulses. In our culture, gratification is much easier to achieve than the slow pace of character formation.

I must confess that I myself have been personally experiencing a subtle and lingering sense of spiritual restlessness and unease every time I would realize - in between the many preoccupations of my regional work day in and day out - that we are now in the season of Lent. A part of me was yearning for a more meaningful expression of this most important, but neglected, season of the Christian liturgical year. I also believe that part of the sense of unease that I have been feeling is the fact that I, too, find myself in the midst of a wider social culture that has essentially trivialized the meaning of Lent. The practice of “fasting”, for example, that has been traditionally connected to Lent has now - to the wider society – become a mere occasion to display self-indulgent piety by giving up superfluous “luxuries” like chocolate, red meat, Facebook, Twitter or similar forms of favorite indulgences.

In preparing for this sermon I had to reengage what Lent means for me; or, better yet, what it should mean to me. Since Lent is a season of spiritual refection on the meaning of our discipleship, it led me to reflect and reexamine the narrative of the ministry of Jesus, beginning at his baptism in Luke 3, through his first ever recorded words in the gospels in Luke 4, where after he leaves his 40 days of trials in the wilderness spiritually triumphant, he comes to the synagogue to preach. That rediscovery of a fresh meaning also came by way of the necessity of reengaging the etymology of the word “Lent” itself.

It turns out that the English word, Lent, has really no direct etymological relationship with the essence and meaning that the liturgical season evokes. It was only in the late Middle Ages, when sermons began to be delivered in the vernacular instead of the prevailing Latin, that the English word lent was adopted. The word itself simply means, (the season of) “spring” (as it is in German, lenz, and in Dutch, lente), and derives from its Germanic root for long, because in the spring season the days obviously lengthen!

The translation of the original Greek, tessarakoste, is actually more enlightening which means the “fortieth” day before Easter. This word is preserved in other languages, especially of the Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages. In Spanish, for example, the word cuaresma is closest to the theological meaning of the concept.

According to the Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert after his baptism and before the beginning of his public ministry. Thus, Lent is described as being forty days long. The narrative has obvious theological symmetry with the forty days of wandering in the desert of the Israelites following their liberation from slavery in Egypt. The gospels report that in the wilderness Jesus faced, endured and surmounted temptation by Satan.

Seen in its proper linguistic context, the meaning of Lent becomes starkly real for me. It is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Far more than mere “fasting” from one’s favorite indulgences, the traditional purpose of Lent is the ritual preparation and spiritual rededication of the believer and the church to their purpose in the world, and not merely a spiritually sanctioned occasion for counterfeit repentance and self-justification. And so we hear God speaking through the prophet Amos, in chapter 5: 21-24, proclaiming:

"I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” (NRSV)

The prophet Isaiah sounds the same concern of God in chapter 58: 5-7:

"Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” (NRSV)

We cannot see God unless we go through the destruction of the false-self. The false-self has many faces – self-love, self-pity, self-hatred, self-justification, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-pride – to name a few. The false self leads us away from our authenticity before God, because it deceives us to think that we are being faithful – self-pride, whose other name by the way is false humility, is our biggest stumbling block in our spiritual journey of transformation.

In the epic science fiction movie, “Avatar”, we are brought into the mid-22nd century, when humans are mining a precious mineral on Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a giant planet in a distant star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered Na'vi body with the mind of a remotely located human, and is used to interact with the natives of Pandora. In common computer language, an Avatar is an artificial image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user.

Jesus’ teachings to his disciples on authentic piety reflect God’s abiding concern for our eternal destiny. We cannot see God unless we scrape off the barnacles of the false-self that grow as encrustations on the surface of our souls. We cannot merely be Avatar disciples, a manipulated image of who we really are. God wants to claim our hearts – not only its cardiac cells, muscles and tissue, but the deep waters of the heart. God is a jealous God in this way. This is why the first commandment is such – “there shall be no other Gods before me.” Jesus summarizes this eternal concern of God for us when he said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

False piety cannot masquerade as faithfulness. In fact, false piety only exposes one’s true motives and inner self, because a spiritual charlatan’s words never cohere with his/her actions.

Everybody who knows what a tanning booth is understands that anyone who goes in there comes out with a tan (a more glamorous word for a sunburn!). When you expose yourself to ultraviolet rays, your skin will burn. It’s a cause and effect thing. And so if we understand sanctification as the growth in divine grace, we also need to understand that that growth comes from the commitment to hold our lives to the way of Jesus. We grow in divine grace because when we consistently dwell in the presence of God, we cannot remain unchanged, untransformed. We cannot be in God’s presence and remain the same!

If the church, and her disciples, is the continuing presence of Christ in the world, then our journey here on earth must mirror the journey of Jesus - from baptism to its culmination on Holy Week. Luke Chapters 3 and 4 are fascinating starting points of Jesus journey. In those chapters, we see a powerful and purposeful order of Jesus’ journey which is critical to the self consciousness and identity of the church. It begins in repentance and baptism, which then thrusts us into necessary preparation for ministry in the practice of engaging the powers and principalities of the world. It is in this crucible that we clarify and claim our mission, and leads us into proclamation and ministry.

There is no shortcut away from the wilderness for the disciple of Jesus!

We are all spiritually poor, eternally needy, a need that can only be filled by the Bread of Life. When Holy Week comes, the church internalizes and proclaims her destiny in Christ and embraces all the stations in that journey. Jesus called his disciples to the work of changing the world, to be instruments of God's redemptive plan for the universe. The season of Lent reminds us that we are all mortals, earthen vessels. Yet God has found it fitting to yet use us in this glorious task, to which we remain faithful only if we hold fast to the way of Jesus. May the season of Lent prepare us in a faithful way for this celebration and renewal of our mission in the world.

Avatar image above was created by marcotruiz and is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. The image can be found on Flickr.

Avatars and the False-Self - A Lenten Sermon

Avatar1.jpg

Scripture Passage

Matthew 6: 1-6 Matthew 6: 16-21

Sermon Text

“So what is thing called Lent anyway?” was the title of an Ash Wednesday video vignette from the CNN online edition, where a man, narrates the meaning of Lent. After a cursory overview about the meaning of Lent among Christians, the video immediately faded out into a few pedestrian interviews, asking people what they are going to giving up for Lent – one said fat burgers, the others said meat, another said his Segway scooter and start walking, and another young lady said give up a lazy lifestyle and start exercising.  Then the narrator eventually – or perhaps inevitably - made the connection between Fat Tuesday and Lent, saying that the revelry, festivals, the eating and carousing that happens on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, is a cultural American practice of feeding up all our the worldly appetites before the season of fasting begins – like a bear fattening up with food before hibernating in winter! Needless to say, the premise already makes a mockery of Lent.

This is why many critiques of prevailing attitudes toward Lent in Christian America raise doubts whether there is a serious appreciation of the meaning of self-denial as a Lenten discipline in our culture. In the view of many, Christians in America are remaking Lent as a type of spiritual self-help whose effectiveness is measured by how well it entertains us and affirms what we already believe…seasonal sacrifices, if observed at all, tend to be superfluous. For Catholics, “abstaining” can now consist of sumptuous fish dinners on Fridays. Some Protestants (especially us Baptists!) conveniently avoid sacrifice or fasting altogether – if no one can earn divine favor, as we say in Baptist (and Reformed) tradition, why bother? Still others bring a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, marked by promises to exercise daily or do without sweets for a few weeks. In all these, true self-deprivation is rare.

We live in a culture of constant self-gratification. It is the norm for Americans of any degree of privilege. The sad result of being in a culture of constant gratification of the physical senses is that we lose any sense of mystery and wonder. Gratification dulls that imagination and healthy spirituality loses out to the pursuit of the ultimate experience of sating our physical impulses. In our culture, gratification is much easier to achieve than the slow pace of character formation.

I must confess that I myself have been personally experiencing a subtle and lingering sense of spiritual restlessness and unease every time I would realize -  in between the many preoccupations of my regional work day in and day out - that we are now in the season of Lent. A part of me was yearning for a more meaningful expression of this most important, but neglected, season of the Christian liturgical year. I also believe that part of the sense of unease that I have been feeling is the fact that I, too, find myself in the midst of a wider social culture that has essentially trivialized the meaning of Lent. The practice of “fasting”, for example, that has been traditionally connected to Lent has now - to the wider society – become a mere occasion to display self-indulgent piety by giving up superfluous “luxuries” like chocolate, red meat, Facebook, Twitter or similar forms of favorite indulgences.

In preparing for this sermon I had to reengage what Lent means for me; or, better yet, what it should mean to me.  Since Lent is a season of spiritual refection on the meaning of our discipleship, it led me to reflect and reexamine the narrative of the ministry of Jesus, beginning at his baptism in Luke 3, through his first ever recorded words in the gospels in Luke 4, where after he leaves his 40 days of trials in the wilderness spiritually triumphant, he comes to the synagogue to preach. That rediscovery of a fresh meaning also came by way of the necessity of reengaging the etymology of the word “Lent” itself.

It turns out that the English word, Lent, has really no direct etymological relationship with the essence and meaning that the liturgical season evokes. It was only in the late Middle Ages, when sermons began to be delivered in the vernacular instead of the prevailing Latin, that the English word “Lent” was adopted. The word itself simply means, (the season of) “spring” (as it is in German, lenz, and in Dutch, lente), and derives from its Germanic root for long because in the spring season the days obviously lengthen!

The translation of the original Greek, tessarakoste, is actually more enlightening which means the “fortieth” day before Easter. This word is preserved in other languages, especially of the Romance, Slavic and Celtic languages.  In Spanish, for example, the word cuaresma is closest to the theological meaning of the concept.

According to the Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert after his baptism and before the beginning of his public ministry.  Thus, Lent is described as being forty days long. The narrative has obvious theological symmetry with the forty days of wandering in the desert of the Israelites following their liberation from slavery in Egypt. The gospels report that in the wilderness Jesus faced, endured and surmounted temptation by Satan.

Seen in its proper linguistic context, the meaning of Lent becomes starkly real for me. It is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Far more than mere “fasting” from one’s favorite indulgences, the traditional purpose of Lent is the ritual preparation and spiritual rededication of the believer and the church to their purpose in the world, and not merely a spiritually sanctioned occasion for counterfeit repentance and self-justification. And so we hear God speaking through the prophet Amos, in chapter 5: 21-24, proclaiming:

I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” (NRSV)

The prophet Isaiah sounds the same concern of God in chapter 58: 5-7:

Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” (NRSV)

We cannot see God unless we go through the destruction of the false-self. The false-self has many faces – self-love, self-pity, self-hatred, self-justification, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-pride – to name a few. The false self leads us away from our authenticity before God, because it deceives us to think that we are being faithful – self-pride, whose other name by the way is false humility, is our biggest stumbling block in our spiritual journey of transformation.

In the epic science fiction movie, “Avatar”, we are brought into the mid-22nd century, when humans are mining a precious mineral on Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a giant planet in a distant star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered Na'vi body with the mind of a remotely located human, and is used to interact with the natives of Pandora. In common computer language, an Avatar is an artificial image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user.

Jesus’ teachings to his disciples on authentic piety reflect God’s abiding concern for our eternal destiny. We cannot see God unless we scrape off the barnacles of the false-self that grow as encrustations on the surface of our souls. We cannot merely be Avatar disciples, a manipulated image of who we really are. God wants to claim our hearts – not only its cardiac cells, muscles and tissue, but the deep waters of the heart. God is a jealous God in this way. This is why the first commandment is such – “there shall be no other Gods before me.” Jesus summarizes this eternal concern of God for us when he said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

False piety cannot masquerade as faithfulness. In fact, false piety only exposes one’s true motives and inner self, because a spiritual charlatan’s words never cohere with his/her actions.

Everybody who knows what a tanning booth is understands that anyone who goes in there comes out with a tan (a more glamorous word for a sunburn!). When you expose yourself to ultraviolet rays, your skin will burn. It’s a cause and effect thing. And so if we understand sanctification as the growth in divine grace, we also need to understand that that growth comes from the commitment to hold our lives to the way of Jesus. We grow in divine grace because when we consistently dwell in the presence of God, we cannot remain unchanged, untransformed. We cannot be in God’s presence and remain the same!

If the church, and her disciples, is the continuing presence of Christ in the world, then our journey here on earth must mirror the journey of Jesus - from baptism to its culmination on Holy Week.  Luke Chapters 3 and 4 are fascinating starting points of Jesus journey. In those chapters, we see a powerful and purposeful order of Jesus’ journey which is critical to the self consciousness and identity of the church. It begins in repentance and baptism, which then thrusts us into necessary preparation for ministry in the practice of engaging the powers and principalities of the world. It is in this crucible that we clarify and claim our mission, and leads us into proclamation and ministry.

There is no shortcut away from the wilderness for the disciple of Jesus!

We are all spiritually poor, eternally needy, a need that can only be filled by the Bread of Life. When Holy Week comes, the church internalizes and proclaims her destiny in Christ and embraces all the stations in that journey. Jesus called his disciples to the work of changing the world, to be instruments of God's redemptive plan for the universe. The season of Lent reminds us that we are all mortals, earthen vessels. Yet God has found it fitting to yet use us in this glorious task, to which we remain faithful only if we hold fast to the way of Jesus. May the season of Lent, indeed, prepare us in a faithful way for this celebration and renewal of our mission in the world.

AMEN

Avatar image above was created by marcotruiz and is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. The image can be found on Flickr.

Judson Press Webinars

Judson Press is kicking off the new year with a series of free webinars during the months of January and February. The diverse topics being presented include immigration, preaching on the economy, and discipleship during the season of Lent. Each will be presented by a Judson Press author. The Winter Webinar Series includes:

  • “Preaching with the Economy in Mind” with Matthew Tennant, author of the new Judson Press release Preaching in Plenty and in Want, Tuesday, January 24, 2:00 p.m. ET
  • “A Virtual Dialogue on the Topic of Immigration” with Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, author of Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families, Wednesday, February 1, 10:00 a.m. ET
  • “What Wondrous Love is This: Mary as a Guide for the Season of Lent” with John Burns, author of Modeling Mary in Christian Discipleship, Tuesday, February 28, 2:00 p.m.

Registration for each of these webinars is available online at www.judsonpress.com/freedownloadwebinars.cfm.

Those wishing to stay informed on newly scheduled webinars should follow Judson Press on Twitter and/or Facebook. “We announce all of our events, appearances, presentations, and much more via social media,” notes marketing director Kim Shimer.  Joining the Judson Press mailing list is another means of staying up-to-date. Visit www.judsonpress.com/mailing_list.cfm to indicate your areas of interest.

Founded in 1824, Judson Press—a publishing ministry of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Churches USA—produces Christ-centered leadership resources for the transformation of persons, congregations, communities and cultures.