The Bema: The Flight of the Wild Goose

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה) I stepped out on an overcast, moonlit night this fall. Then, I heard them: A few tentative honks, followed by a chorus of replies. The sound briefly filled the skies as the flocks headed South. I felt the tug at my heart that I always get when I hear the geese. […]

Jesus, Mammon and Us

One of the most tumultuous debates among monks in the Middle Ages had to do with a divisive hypothetical question – did Jesus have a wallet? Of course, this is not as stupid a question as it appears to be. If Jesus had carried a wallet, he carried money. If he carried money, then it […]

Thoughts on Wealth and Power

Because we sold our own honey – retail and wholesale – my family were businessmen as well as beekeepers. Working for my father, as early as age 9, I received a small wage for my work, especially since it was pretty intensive for a little boy. Later on, my summers were spent in the honey […]

Bema 10: Accounting for the Cross

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה) Why the Cross? On the road to Emmaus, the resurrected (but as yet unrecognized) Jesus explains to two downcast disciples the entire plan God has been following to save the world. On the transforming day of Pentecost, Peter tells the crowd that Jesus was delivered up to crucifixion with the foreknowledge […]

Bema 9: The Trouble With a living Sacrifice

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): The Trouble With a living Sacrifice I have been teaching my way through Acts this last month, as part of our PACE program. As a congregation, we can be very proud of our students, who have been doing very well and are known for doing good quality work at Alberta […]

Bema 8: Good News-ing

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): Good news-ing I believe that I belong to the Fundamental Power of the Universe, who owns and protects me, Who knows and loves me, Who is available to me at all times and Who has been with me in every trial and joy, pain and grief, exaltation and ecstasy, dizzy, […]

Bema 7: Spiritual Life on the Big Island

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): Spiritual Life on the Big Island <hr /> By accepting our weakness and emptiness, and having Christ fill us, redeem us and live in us, we leave the island of self-captivity and cross over into a new island. We live, you might say, in a new spiritual place. We carry […]

Bema 6: the Bridge

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): The Bridge I last wrote about the state of self-captivity (“self-tivity”) I call the Island. Having chased myself into the ground, following my own drive to make myself feel better about God, in the frustration, fatigue, inner fog, and fury, I cried out in anger and despair. At four in […]

Bema 5: On or Off the Island

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): On, or off the Island Being on an island is for some of us the perfect place for rest and recreation, free from interference and the “madding crowd”. For others, islands are places of confinement, prisons where one is left with limited resources, fewer opportunities and the inability to escape. […]

Bema 4: Praying God’s Prayers

The BEMA (βῆμα, בּימה ): We pray God’s words It was the misprint of the week: Our church bulletin in Kingston put the names of the hymns in print every Sunday. I was glancing down the list, and “the God of Abraham prays” caught my eye! The owner of a Christian bookstore with Brethren heritage […]