9 Items

”Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss”

by Jed Brown
two men standing in front of fence

The above command comes at the very end of 1 Corinthians, the letter written by Paul to the church in Corinth. In a short while this practice would be widespread in the church – it came to be known as the osculum pacis, the “kiss of peace”.  While some think that the word “holy” in […]

Moving Forward Together

by Jed Brown
short-coated black dog sitting

We all come to the coronavirus situation with preconceived notions of what is best; ideas and political leanings established in the past, by our upbringing, experiences, jobs and training, etc. And not all of our notions will agree with one another’s. Thus we have sought from the beginning to keep one finger on God’s “preconceived […]

Wailing for Quail – Numbers 11

by Jed Brown
variety of fruits

The story of the quail and the prophets, from Numbers 11, is strange to us, in many of the details. But the point could not be more contemporary.  The people are on the other side of the Exodus, and are three days into a new season of their journey. But they complain, sentimentalizing their slavery […]

Camus’ Community

by Jed Brown
several people watching the sunrise in the middle of forest

In a recent article in the New York Times,* translator Laura Marris recounts a speech that the Algerian author Albert Camus gave in 1946, after World War II. Against the “plague” of Nazism and totalitarianism (one of Camus’ greatest works was the novel “The Plague”), Camus called for  “. . . communities of thought outside […]

Responding to the Coronavirus . . . and the Government

by Jed Brown

There are two basic responses that the Bible requires of us, to the coronavirus outbreak.  The first is submission to the governing authorities. Presently, the CDC has called for self-isolation for those over 65, “strong” social distancing and canceling events over 50 people. I see no sin in these. Therefore, Romans 13:1-7 straightforwardly applies:  Let every […]

Coronavirus and the Gospel

by Jed Brown

Yesterday Sacramento County shifted its strategy of dealing with the spreading coronavirus, from one of containment to one of management. Essentially, they advise: if you have coronavirus, limit your social contact. If you do not have it, but have been exposed to someone who does have it, then take precautions – see below, and see the […]

Effective Small Groups, Part 3

by Jed Brown

In the last post, I said three triads are necessary for a group to be effective, properly defined. I want to define those “triads” here: Word, Prayer and Fellowship: By “Word”, I mean the group pursues spiritually significant conversations, around and out of the Bible. Perhaps this means simply discussing the prior week’s sermon. But […]

Effective Small Groups, Part 2

by Jed Brown

What is an effective small group? This is the question we’re exploring in this series of posts.  Now, as with any group, inside or outside the church, there is a pooling of something, when you get people together. Lots of churches have floundered on the rocky shoals of believing that if you just throw some […]

Effective Small Groups

by Jed Brown

What’s a small group for? Briefly, to be a channel of grace flowing, from God, to each member of the group. And from each member of the group. What everyone needs most is grace, from God – everyone IN the group, and OUTSIDE the group. This series of posts will elaborate on effective groups, starting […]