Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. He also writes a weekly blog at https://joekay617.wordpress.com. His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.
Posts By This Author
Bringing Light to Our Nation’s Very Dark Night
We feel a deep darkness in our world and in our society right now. We can almost taste it, touch it, and smell it. This darkness invades our souls like a damp, long, December night, bringing a chill all the way inside.
When Christians Refuse to Serve Their Neighbor
Jesus actively participated in the lives of everyone whom he met by offering them love, acceptance, and healing. He particularly sought out and served those whom religious folk deemed to be great sinners.
Advent: Hearing God in a Female Voice
Let’s use this Advent — the season that starts with one woman’s courageous voice — to pay closer attention to all the female voices in our world. Let’s honor them and hear God still speaking to all of us through them.
Religion and Power Were Intertwined. Then Jesus Challenged It All.
God’s kingdom is a place of unlimited love and unending compassion. It’s a place where everyone is welcomed — especially the marginalized — and nobody is treated like an outcast.
Genuine gratitude brings us humility and reconnects us with God and each other —especially those who need us in some way. It erases our society’s illusions about winners and losers. It directly challenges our judgments about who is deserving and who is undeserving. It reminds us of our total dependence on God for everything.
A Time to Build Up
Destroyers lack the patience, persistence, and open-mindedness required to build anything of value. Their egos leave no room for the compromise that is required to create. They have no interest in doing the hard work of recognizing what's good in the world and improving upon what exists.
When's the Last Time You Heard a Sermon About Gun Violence?
The conversation isn’t just about guns, although that’s certainly a huge part of it. We need to look at the bigger picture of how we’ve made violence our norm, how we endorse and encourage it in so many ways.
How Our Lives Fit Together
Grace works that way. People come into our lives unexpectedly and show us things we need to see. Those people and those moments become edge pieces for us, if we let them. It’s good to remind ourselves of that now, when we’re so divided and disconnected that we can’t even see the picture we’re meant to form together. We’ve forgotten that each of us is a piece of something bigger than ourselves.
Dismissing Ignorance in Our Leaders Is a Mistake
It seems that the message people in the pews are hearing is deliberately divorced from Jesus’ values. Being a disciple no longer means sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing his passionate, God-filled words, and trying to live them.
Where Are the Monuments to Peacemakers?
A starting point is recognizing the truth that war is never noble or courageous. Noble and courageous acts occur during war, but war itself is always the ultimate human failure and must never be portrayed as anything else. War is the expression of our worst impulses — killing and maiming one another while destroying the many good things we've built together.