Earlier this summer I attended a church service where the pastor, a man struggling with what appears to be his final bout with cancer, preached about the hope that Jesus promises to those who trust in him. After describing the returning Jesus brandishing a sword and dripping with the blood of all our vanquished enemies, he invited the audience to share what they saw as the hope that this Jesus promises. The responses ranged from no cancer, to no pain, to no worries about paying the bills, to the promise of an upgraded body -- all of course in heaven someday after we die. The congregation was encouraged to find contentment in the present from the possibility of realizing these promises someday. Our souls are what matter; the body just has to endure until our souls reach heaven. No mention of help with how to pay this month's rent or what it means for a cancer-ridden body to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, just the spiritual promise that someday all will be well.
Editor's note: "Voices From the Gulf" is a series of posts from people experiencing first-hand the devastating effects of the worst oil spill in American history. Check back often for more stories each week.
Then the Breath of Heaven swept across the waters, blessing the sea with all manner of creatures.
Last week, The Washington Post's On Faith site devoted their weekly Q&A to the debate over social justice which they titled, "Wallis vs.