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By Bill Tammeus

Because of the strange short-term nature of journalism, no longer each column can stand the try of time. yet many—even these approximately occasions approximately long gone from the general public consciousness--contain lasting truths. A present of Meaning is a suite of these lasting truths from invoice Tammeus, a columnist for the Kansas urban Star.

Each piece unearths Tammeus's try and combat everlasting that means from the occasions and stories that sweep us alongside day by means of day.

I stopped by way of a homeless preserve the opposite day to work out a person i do know. As I waited, I felt quite conspicuous in my go well with and tie. in truth, the pleasant guy on the details table requested me if i used to be a pastor. I chuckled.

But as I sat within the foyer ready to determine the guy I got here to examine on, i used to be struck back through what could be the such a lot tough of all human initiatives: empathy. that's, the problem of truly placing ourselves within the sneakers of others.

In the top, A reward of Meaning is not only a presentation of discovered which means, but additionally a decision to readers to prevent and imagine for themselves. This publication is a call for participation to respire deeply and search out the that means of what the area heaves at us on a daily basis. it's an providing of insights that might offer clean methods of comprehending issues readers concept they already understood.

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Extra resources for A Gift of Meaning

Sample text

I have heard scripture read and have felt scripture read me. I have gathered around the communion table with my family of faith to share the sacred meal, the Lord’s Supper. And I’ve prayed there for miracles, both simple and elaborate. 34 A Gift of Meaning Is my experience unique? Not at all. Different religious traditions share something similar. The book of Exodus, for instance, in the Hebrew scriptures, says the people of Israel felt God’s presence in the tabernacle, or Tent of Meeting, which Moses set up according to instructions from the Lord.

So I pray, no doubt in a way that the faithful have prayed here for hundreds of years and the way they’ve prayed around the world throughout the two thousand years since Christianity branched itself off decisively from Judaism. But I do not only pray. I also observe. And I think about the way in which the practice of this faith connects people across miles and centuries—people of incredible variety but all rooted in a Middle Eastern peasant by whose life our very calendar is figured. This evening two men in dark suits, ties, and sweater vests are preparing the cloth for the altar and making other arrangements for a later worship service.

So, scary images of hell are not new. But they grew increasingly graphic in medieval and later times, especially in the seventeenth century, when John Locke’s reward-and-punishment philosophy helped underpin both emergent capitalism and Christianity. In A History of Christianity, Paul Johnson notes that the three “most influential medieval teachers, Augustine, Peter Lombard and Aquinas, all insisted that the pains of hell were physical as well as mental and spiritual, and that real fire played a part in them.

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