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The Curtain of Jesus’ Body

 The Curtain of Jesus’ Body  By Mitiku Adisu credit: I grew up viewing beauty in Ethiopic and Byzantine architecture and icons; in sweet-smelling incense; lit yellow beeswax candles; bright multi-colored priestly robes; and in chants and a dedicated community sharing after-service meals.  As you stand facing a curtained area where only assigned priests are allowed, you sense a certain distantness, even holy terror. You are warned not to take a peek or ask too many questions. That is a hard sell when you are a teen-ager! Regardless, the running prayers, psalms, and prostrations are too engaging for such thoughts.  So did God reside behind those curtains? Why do I walk around with an anxious heart? Am I on my own upon exiting the sanctuary? How do I relate to an unapproachable God? How many angelic intercessions and gifts did it take to ease my fear of life?  Now see Jesus on the cross, crying out in a loud voice. Do you not hear the gospel? At that momen

The Church JESUS Built in Santiago

  The Church JESUS Built in Santiago    By Pastor Jerry Cross I had never seen my father weep uncontrollably before. He came to visit me my first year of seminary, he a pastor, missionary, theology professor, came for one purpose, to try and convince me to not go into pastoral ministry. Weeping, he begged me not to make such a horrible mistake! He said, "Son, I know you well, your gifts, your weaknesses, your temperament, and above all how introverted you are, so much so that you run from people. Son, I assure you that in ministry there is nowhere to hide. You must constantly deal with people, something I know you hate to do!"  I answered him, "Daddy, I know that you are warning me because you love me and do not want me to make such a mistake. I actually agree with every word you say about my temperament. So much so that I have told my Heavenly Father the exact same thing a thousand times, that I am not cut out for pastoral ministry. Not only does he not

Lent a Way of Life

  Lent a Way of Life By Mitiku Adisu credit: Not all Christian groups know what to do with the 40 days leading up to Easter. Everyone recognizes Lent as a church tradition, but they frequently look to scripture to avoid taking time off to reflect on Jesus. Attempts are made to supplant the season with activities, to simply remember it in a haphazard manner, or, in exasperation, to dump the tradition at the door of liturgical churches. Lent, it is understood in some quarters, does not suit the lifestyle of the urban dweller. However we wish to observe Lent, what matters most is, in the end, not activities  per se but Jesus; not evasion or presumed observances but consecrating oneself and the season to Christ and his Holy Spirit. One avoided distractions in order to focus solely on Jesus, the Bread of Life broken for us.One gains by losing. In other words, a jolt of righteousness! Too much focus on the individual [and less on the community] has progressively led to