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December 24, 2012

Reflection for the Week- December 24th, 2012

I hope the 50 or so Reflections of the Week and other posts in 2012 have been helpful, challenging, and spiritually illuminating. A special thanks to you all for taking time to ponder the thoughts expressed here and for your support of my work. Be blessed in Christ this Christmas season.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

December 17, 2012

Reflection for the Week- December 17th, 2012

Someone mentioned: “I’m frustrated with what is often portrayed today as Christianity. There is so much that is trite and superficial, without any concern for depth and a connection between truth and love. How can we move in new directions?” My response to this was: “Seems to me, you should be frustrated. The current portrayal of the Christian faith, in many circles, is not only frustrating to you, but no doubt to God as well. From what I can tell, God doesn’t appear to endorse the shallow and trivial. If that’s the case, you’re right to protest, seek fresh insights, and a realistic credibility. God is on your side. What is passed off as ‘Christian’ today often goes against the very core of what it means to follow in the footsteps of Christ – the Crucified and Risen One. Somehow we’ve lost the vision that love and truth go together. To move in new directions it is imperative to understand that Christianity is about as deep as it gets. First and foremost it’s about being in community with God, through Christ, in the power of the Spirit, and being in community with the other – from there we are then called to live in love on the basis of the truth of redemption and forgiveness situated in the reality that the God of Scripture exists, has created this world, and sent Christ to restore it. There’s real depth here: deep love and deep truth, in contrast to the trite and superficial.”

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

December 10, 2012

Reflection for the Week- December 10th, 2012

To see the significance of Picasso attempting to paint a painting without any trace of Picasso in it should give rise thought. Could he do it? Was it possible for him to be so disengaged from the work that its meaning and interpretation would be entirely up to the viewer? Picasso, intriguingly, may have set out to accomplish this, but I would wager he failed. What he was attempting – a total distinction of the subject from the object – is a deceptive goal. Neutrality is not a plausible option for us, as intentionality is unrelenting. After all, being erased, unnoticed, excluded from participation would not be human. We are present, involved, leaving traces of ourselves in time. This truth amounts to the gift of a perspective of the world and humanity that shows us the subject and the object are commissioned to interact with each other. Meaning and interpretation, therefore, cannot ever be reduced to the viewer, as the painter always plays a role in what’s painted.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery

December 03, 2012

Reflection for the Week- December 3rd, 2012

Memory bears the marks of time. We have such a fascinating potential of recognizing phenomena and then to be able to remember people, places and things related to it. Life, both consciously and unconsciously, is continually changing. It’s so saturated with texture and richness that our gaze can barely take small, but nevertheless significant pieces of it into our stories. We are both shaped by and shapers of each element and can marvel at our capacity to integrate this interaction in a coherent fashion that forges continuity with what has taken place previously. Remarkable. Telling memorable stories about what once was, is meeting the challenge of taking disparate parts and making them into a unified whole. The restoration of a faithful resemblance, however, will remain a fragile matter of trust and suspicion, as temptations to false testimonies plague us and seek to undermine the truthful ambition of memory in its reaching out and grasping the flow of life back when.

Dr. Gregory J. Laughery