Sweatin’ for Jesus

At The Anchor, we believe in sweat.  We sweat in our worship (it can be hot on a barge), we sweat in our mission (boots on the ground), and we sweat in our fellowship (of course we can’t leave out corn hole).  Sweat is part of our identity.  And, you are not judged if you sweat.  Sweating is part of what makes us —— us. We have been journeying for the last month through the story of the prodigal son.  In this journey we have done a lot of sweating.  We have taken the pulpit and not relegated it to the “professionals”, instead we have turned the microphone around and heard the different ways we are all the prodigal son.  This has been from various people, that are from different walks.  This is part of our distinct calling to be eclectic as sisters & brothers in Christ.  But all of these various perspectives have reminded us that we find ourselves in need (Luke 15.14) in so many ways in Wilmington.  We find shallow relationships, the loss of family & friends, addictions, food scarcity, racism, lack of meaningful work, loneliness & isolation, regret, and no choices. What does God have to say to us in our need? We have people that have recently found themselves part of this congregation, and they have mentioned that they have not heard me preach.  I am so glad that people have had the chance to hear a variety of people looking at the scripture from Luke 15 from different perspectives.  I celebrate that the body of Christ is the focal point in our in...
The Prodigal in Each of Us – Meg McBride

The Prodigal in Each of Us – Meg McBride

I believe that all healing starts with and stands on TRUTH. And I believe that in order to move forward, we have to start right where we are at. We have all been in the Prodigal son’s shoes at sometime in our lives. We have all gone off to a distant country in search of something — maybe some of us traveled 1000 miles from home, but maybe some of us didn’t even have to leave our own backyards… but each of us has experienced a time where we lived undisciplined lives and wasted everything we had. For me that happened in the late 90’s. I was unhappily married – you see my husband was a hemophiliac and had many blood transfusions as a child before our blood supply was safe. When our 2nd son wasn’t even one year old, my husband was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He was so sick for so long and it was not uncommon for him to be hospitalized for weeks at a time. I worked full time and was raising two young boys all while caring for an ill spouse. Life never stopped for me and eventually, I just couldn’t handle it. On top of my daily frustrations, I was so angry at God for doing this to us. I blamed God for all our problems. Without a Higher Power in my life, I just survived the chaos of every single day and found myself always wondering if that day would be my husband’s last day. I used to hope he would just die because I was so exhausted. During this time, I worked...
My first few days

My first few days

I called my mom on my way to my second day of work at The Anchor. I could hear her curiosity seeping through the phone as she asked me about what I did on my first day. I could barely find the words or come up with some sort of explanation of what I experienced so I simply told her what I did…. I spent the morning and some of the afternoon hanging out with homeless folks and learning about their stories–where they were from, how long they’ve been in Wilmington, about their families, etc. Later on in the afternoon, I had the chance to hang out with Philip and his family at the home of Burmese refugees to celebrate the first birthday of their child. That evening, I participated in the missional community, Bridge Night, at Solomon Towers–a public housing facility for the elderly and disabled. I explained to my mom, that on my first day, I had dipped my toes in so many different pools of people that I rarely came in contact with. You see, I’ve grown up in a middle-class, suburban household. I have been blessed with an extremely supportive family, encouraging mentors and friends, a roof over my head, and food always available in the pantry. Sure, I’ve gotten to attend several mission trips and seen poverty and pain. But those things were temporary: daily or weekly events. To be honest, I spend the majority of my time in the library and classrooms of Duke Divinity School–a bubble of a bunch of students studying theology. The hours of my day are dedicated to writing papers, reading...
Did you lack anything?

Did you lack anything?

Last week in the blog post titled “He began to be in need” we took a look at Luke 15.11-32 and how the youngest son squandered everything he had and began to be in need.  While considering this phrase I decided to look at other places this phrase could be found in the Gospel of Luke.  In the original language of the New Testament the Greek word for “to be in need” is ὑστερέω.  Interestingly, ὑστερέω is only found in one other place in the Gospel of Luke — you can find it in Luke 22.35.  In this passage Jesus is reflecting with his disciples how he had sent them out two-by-two into the surrounding towns and villages that he was going to go to eventually.  They were sent as representatives of him and they were commissioned for a particular work. While Jesus was reflecting with his disciples about how they had been sent out he asked them in Luke 22.35: “‘When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘No, not a thing.'”  Why didn’t they have any need?  They should of been in need.  Jesus sent them to these towns and villages without food, money, a bag, and without shoes.  What makes them answer Jesus’ reflective questions with a definitive “no”?    I have been considering the juxtaposition of these two ways of looking at need that we find with the story of the prodigal son and the sending forth of the seventy disciples.  In Luke 15.11-32 the youngest son leaves his family with his half of the inheritance, whereas the...
He Began To Be In Need

He Began To Be In Need

In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-32) we are introduced to a family that has a father and two sons.  The youngest son asked his father for his half of the inheritance.  Interestingly, the father gave the son what he asked.  Soon after that the youngest son decided to leave everything behind and travel.  He never asked for advice on where to go, instead he chose to leave by himself and leave everything that he knew behind (except of course the money). While in this distant country he began to spend all of the inheritance that had been trusted to him.  He made decisions that were based on lust and desire, and those decisions were a lot of fun at times and those decisions also brought him into a very dark place.  The youngest son squandered his inheritance on shallow relationships and on things that did not last.  And then disaster struck ….. there was a famine in the land which caused an economic collapse. After spending everything that he had he found that those relationships and friendships were so shallow because they were only based on the amount of money he was willing to spend.  In verse 14 it says that “he began to be in need”.  And then in verse 16 it says: “and no one gave him anything”.  All of those shallow relationships ended up turning a blind eye to the man who had squandered everything.  Even in the midst of an economic collapse, they still did not help him.  So, the youngest son had to do the one thing that was a devastating...
Reflections about my time at Mepkin Abbey – Acknowledging Reality

Reflections about my time at Mepkin Abbey – Acknowledging Reality

Anyone that knows me knows that I emphasize relationships and how our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ is to live life on life with each other.  Recently I have been spending an inordinate amount of time considering my relationships with people that I do life with.  I have found that in this transient space called Wilmington, we see that relationships come and start quickly at times and end quickly at times.  I have promised myself that I will not be a person that becomes cold and indifferent to new relationships because of the transient nature of Wilmington.  So I have invested myself into relationships so as to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. While at Mepkin Abbey recently, I had in my mind this notion that relationships end and that relationships begin.  Because of this time of contemplation I began thinking about how this was the experience of the father in Luke 15.11-32.  In this passage we are introduced to the youngest son that left his father.  The youngest son decided to go and travel to a distant country and squander the inheritance that his father gave to him.  When the father reflected on what happened to their relationship he said in Luke 15.24 that this son of his was dead. No one wants to welcome the death of a relationship, and I am positive that the father spent a great deal of energy trying to convince the youngest son to not go and squander all of his inheritance; nevertheless the son still did that.  This notion of voicing that the relationship was dead is acknowledging what is...