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Posts tagged "Nadia Bolz-Weber"


NBW on How the Light Gets Out

Those who’ve just received the new issue of know that it includes a fascinating interview with preacher/ pastor/author Nadia Bolz-Weber. We’ll be posting some excerpts once our esteemed magazine editor returns from honeymooning, but if her words have left you wanting more, here’s an excerpt from an incredibly powerful sermon she gave earlier this year on Matthew 5:13-14, ht LM:

nbwIt’s so easy for us to default to hearing Jesus’ sermon on the mount as pure exhortation. As though he is giving us a list of things we should try and be so we can be blessed – be meeker, be poorer, and mournier a little more and you will meet the conditions of earning Jesus’ blessing. But the thing is, it’s hard to imagine Jesus exhorting a crowd of demoniacs and epileptics to be meeker…

I [used to think] that to be the light of the world, to let your light so shine before men, you have to be whole, be strong, be perfect. That special class of people I’ll never belong to. But perhaps this is when we best listen to the words of the prophet Leonard Cohen: “Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There’s a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in.” In other words, it is exactly at our points of weakness, of pain, of brokenness, of insufficiency that force us, like those who originally followed Jesus, to stand in the need of God. To stand in the need of the true light.

So perhaps those cracks… made from bad choices, from anxiety and depression, from addiction, from struggle and remorse, maybe those cracks are what lets the light of God’s love in. And maybe those same cracks are also how the light gets out.

We perhaps should not miss the fact that Jesus does not say “here are the conditions you must meet to be the salt of the Earth.” He does not say, here are the standards of wholeness you must fulfill in order to be light for the world. He looks out into the crowd of people in pain, people who have been broken open – those cracks that let in and let out the Light, who have the salt of sweat and tears on their broken bodies, and says you ARE salt. You. You are light. You have that of God within you, the God whose light scatters the darkness. Your imperfect and beautiful bodies are made of chemicals with holiness shining in it… you are made of dust and the very breath of God.

In other words, you are a broken jerk and Jesus trusts you. Don’t wait until you feel as though you have met the conditions of being holy. Trust that Jesus knows what he is doing. And that you already are salt and light and love and grace. Don’t try and be it. Know that you already are.

Identity, Always God’s First Move… Everything Else Is Temptation

Regardless of what you may/may not have heard, if you still haven’t looked into Pastrix, by Nadia Bolz-Weber, you’re sorely missing out. Despite the easier annotations enameled to the Denver-based Lutheran priest–the tats, the sailor’s mouth, the checkered past, the progressive politics–she’s also got some interesting (and old school) things to say about Jesus, and […]

Telling Truth from the Underside

Despite a few recent Mbird nods, as of three weeks ago I had no idea who Nadia Bolz-Weber was. But she has come up in conversation, in text messages, and in my Facebook feed about a dozen times since then. So I decided to pay attention and buy her new book, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith […]

Another Week Ends: Language Limits, Nadia’s House, The Impostor Effect, Theologies of Rock, Facebook Mobs and GYPSYs

1) An amazing interview with contemporary artist Chris Martin (not that one), that I wish I could reproduce here in full, over at the (ironically named) Believer. He talks about the art world and its tendency–in being seekers and conduits of “reality”–to talk about nothing that is real at all. He also talks very bluntly […]

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Call to the Community of Underside Dwellers

Maybe you saw the interview we posted in our last weekender, where she spoke at “Wild Goose Fest”…but Nadia Bolz-Weber is the real deal. I say this knowing I don’t give a whole lot of credence to “real deal”-speak. I guess I just mean that she is pretty unhinged. A Lutheran minister in Denver, she […]

Another Week Ends: Zach Morris, Misfit Priests and Wild Geese, 50 Shades Turnover, Finding Flannery, Inbox Zero, and More Capon

1) To add to the Facebook files, this one came from the New Yorker. A study was given to see what emotional effects are aggravated by social media site, and, surprise surprise, the rise in the “market of social capital” equals a correlated relationship with envy and loneliness. Still, studies snake-eye with Facebook: many researchers […]