Scott Hagan

Author's details

Name: Scott Hagan
Date registered: September 25, 2012
URL: https://plus.google.com/112662514982926163841

Latest posts

  1. Reflections on the The Word and World: Thankful for Freedom, Charged to Use it — January 20, 2015
  2. Reflections on the The Word and World: George Clooney and Bob Watson — January 14, 2015
  3. Reflections on the The Word and World: The Teacher Within — January 6, 2015
  4. Reflections on the The Word and World: News, News — December 30, 2014
  5. Reflections on the The Word and World: Keeping Christmas — December 23, 2014

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  1. Reflections on the The Word and World: Do We Need Jesus in Our Death Penalty Conversation? — 1 comment

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Jan 20 2015

Reflections on the The Word and World: Thankful for Freedom, Charged to Use it

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2015/01/thankful-for-freedom-charged-to-use-it.html


   It was a holy moment to stand alongside the Rev. Marty Barnes at the 11:00 a.m. worship service on Sunday and hear him recount his ministry as a chaplain with a special operations wing of the United States Air Force. For those of you in worship at 9:00 a.m. or away this past weekend, Captain Barnes was in worship with us for two Sundays as his unit was training at Fort Benning.
   I heard him share two words with us. He opened and closed his brief remarks with a deep sense of thanksgiving for being able to worship in a place that felt like home. He is a a United Methodist Elder from Oklahoma who serves as an extension of our denomination as a Chaplain to the USAF. He appreciated the warm welcome he received. 
   More than just a word of thanks, though, his words came with a charge. He spoke of freedom and shared with us a taste of the messages that he regularly offers to the airmen he serves alongside. He stated plainly that we have a duty to live lives worthy of the freedom that the airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines and guardsmen are fighting and sacrificing to protect. He believes that the best way to live such a life is to use our freedoms
   I cannot help thinking how much this resonates with the Gospel. Jesus died for our sins: freeing us from captivity and slavery to sin and death. He did not die that we might squander life, still chained to old habits or passions, or that we might let our freedom sit idle only to waste away. We are to live fully and freely. I believe the next three weeks in worship, when we spend time around teachings from the Scriptures and our Methodist tradition, will connect with this message of grace offered with a purpose.
   May you live this day aware of the great sacrifices that have been made for you to live freely. Peace, Scott

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/thankful-for-freedom-charged-to-use-it/

Jan 14 2015

Reflections on the The Word and World: George Clooney and Bob Watson

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2015/01/george-clooney-and-bob-watson.html


   If you were like us, most night of television don't offer enough choices to warrant the high prices we pay to have six billions channels stream into our homes. Every once in a while, there are two things on that we want to watch at the same time. On Sunday, we were mostly watching an NFL game with a couple of channel changes from time to time for Julie to stay up to date with the Golden Globes over on NBC. This is the three hour show that recognizes winners from the world of television and movies for great acting, directing, music, and a host of other categories. The night was hosted by two brilliant - though not without controversy - female comedians, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who keep the night going with their commentary and humor.
   We didn't watch much of the awards show, but people have been talking about one particular moment ever since. Julie showed me a clip the next day. Commenting on something that had just happened, Tina Fey said this:
“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip ... So tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”
Apparently they love to poke fun at Clooney, so this moment had extra meaning for those who keep up with their annual appearances at this event.
   Really, Fey was not joking, was she? So very often, we recognize the wrong things. We give awards for the wrong categories. We highlight the wrong statistics and appreciate the wrong achievements. Whether it be trophies for professional athletes, accolades for celebrities, or contests to find the next big star, our compasses point in every direction but true. Andy Unger says he once heard that Americans used to look up to television stars because the best people were on television and we aspired to be like them. Now, we often tune in to see some of the worst people and are just proud we are not as bad as they are. 
   On Tuesday, I stood before Barbara Watson, some of her family, and the other members of the downtown Columbus Lions Club to speak at a memorial service they had in honor of Mr. Bob, a Lion since 1976. Before it was my turn, twenty people had already taken their turns expressing appreciation for his legacy. I must say, at that moment, there was no question to whom the award was supposed to go. Four months after he has passed, his legacy still shines brightly.
   Our vision for 2015 is that Epworth GLOWS. We believe every person is called to Give God first place, Learn God’s truths, be Open-minded and forgiving, Worship 24/7, and Serve and give generously. This is the kind of life that heaven applauds. This is the kind of life that receives the greatest of recognition. Grace and Peace to you, Scott

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/george-clooney-and-bob-watson/

Jan 06 2015

Reflections on the The Word and World: The Teacher Within

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-teacher-within.html


   I am in the midst of taking the second to last required course in my Doctoral program before I begin the yearlong work on my final paper. The class is on the ministry of teaching and Parker Palmer's The Courage to Teach was one of the assigned readings. It is brilliant. He proposes that every person has a "teacher within." This might sound strange to those who don't lead classes on a regular basis, but I think he is right; all persons are made to influence those around them.
   Delving deeper than the surface of subjects or methods, Palmer proposes that teaching begins inside the teacher. He says first, "that what we teach will never take unless it connects with the inward, living core of our students’ lives,” and second, that “we can speak to the teacher within our students only when we are on speaking terms with the teacher within ourselves.” As I read more about this first difficult truth, I was struck at how it sounded like one of the distinguishing characteristics of Jesus’ ministry with the persons he met and those with whom he conversed. Jesus was different than other contemporary religious teachers of his time in the way he valued people. At one point Matthew 9 summarizes his ministry by saying, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” The Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7, ends with the statement, “Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” I wonder if the root of that authority could be traced back to the compassion he had for them. He slowed down and made himself vulnerable to them by offering his presence even when the time didn't seem right or there were other demands on him. This seems to be what Palmer talked about when he says that, “The courage to teach is the courage to keep one’s heart open in those very moments when the heart is asked to hold more than it is able.” 
   I think all followers of Christ should regularly consider and pray about how their own hearts are open to those with whom they are doing life together. We are people of influence, like it or not. What influence are we having? Is it for good? It starts with caring enough to engage in the inner work of listening and learning: from those around us and from ourselves.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2015/01/the-teacher-within/

Dec 30 2014

Reflections on the The Word and World: News, News

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2014/12/news-news.html


   Epworth was blessed to receive the Good News on the first Sunday of the Christmas season from the Rev. Ben Gosden, one of our own. I spoke with Ben the night before and he shared the outline of his message with me then: it sounded so good. Our family was blessed to worship at the church in Fayetteville. The same church I worked and we attended when I started seminary, where Julie and I lived after we were married, and where Sam was born. We saw friends from over a decade ago and also heard a message crafted out of the Scriptures for this Season.
   One of the songs we sang in Fayetteville repeated a refrain that can be seen on every television, handheld smart phone or tablet, and even in the folded pages of ink-laden newspaper pages. The song was “Good Christian Men Rejoice” and the line went, “give ye heed to what we say: News, news! Jesus Christ is born today!” It seemed so very relevant, since everywhere we turn around someone is proclaiming that they have the latest news.
   The front page of the Ledger-Enquirer for the past few days featured the top news stories of the past year from a host of topics: crime, courts, government, education, politics, business, baseball, hospitals, babies, and more. All week long, cable news networks and morning talk shows are also featuring the top news stories from the previous year. There is value in looking back and remembering. What stories from the news do you recall? What are you holding onto as the new year begins?
   Is all news the same? No. We know better. Just the other day, my mechanic called to say, “I have good news and I have...” Don’t laugh. That second set of news cost me a lot of money!
   Christians talk a lot about Good News. The Greek word that is translated to English as Good News in the New Testament is ԑúаүүέλıоv (euangélion) and it is gospel. We use this same word to describe the collections of stories about the life of Jesus. Put one way, every time the church leans in to hear the stories of Jesus, we are tuning into the good news.
   I am resolved to begin the year right. I want to work even harder to pay attention to the news that changed my present and influences my future. I want to give more attention to the voices that offer the best wisdom for my life. I invite you to join me in worship to do the very same thing. 
   Grace and Peace to you, Scott

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/12/news-news/

Dec 23 2014

Reflections on the The Word and World: Keeping Christmas

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2014/12/keeping-christmas.html



   Henry van Dyke was an American author, educator and clergyman, born in 1852 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. This poem was one handed down to my brother, cousin, and me by my grandfather, the Rev. Carlton Carruth.
   Merry Christmas to you, and may the grace and peace of Christ help us keep Christmas always.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/12/keeping-christmas-2/

Dec 19 2014

Reflections on the The Word and World: Christians at Christmas: Prepared To Do It All Over Again

Original post at http://dscotthagan.blogspot.com/2014/12/christians-at-christmas-prepared-to-do.html


   It's the most wonderful stressful time of the year. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful time, but there is something about trying to get everything done before morning Christmas arrives that adds stress to this season. Television commercials, songs on the radio, classic movies, and our inaccurate memories of holidays gone by have us convinced that these days are to be exclusively filled with gathering with family, feasting on delicious meals, or singing the songs of the Season. However, those idyllic activities are often few and far between. Instead, many feel the hours pass with purchases, traffic, and deadlines.
   With all of this as the backdrop, imagine my reaction upon receiving word last week from the professor of my next course, that starts on January 5, that we were to have five different books read and four different projects completed before the start of our first class. I stared at the computer screen for a while trying to process what my eyes were telling me. In fairness to the professor, this class goes towards a graduate degree; I don't expect it to be easy. And, he did include a kind note apologizing for that this would be happening during the Christmas break. 
   Then, the faintest glimmer of hope shone upon the situation; I had already read one of the books before and it would be easy to pick it up and skim its pages to refresh my memory of its contents! As silly as it may seem, knowing that even one little part of my preparations for the class would be stuff that I already knew brought me great joy.
   It dawned on me. This mirrors the experience of the Church every year. As the four Sundays of Advent move us closer to the night that changed history, one of the last things to check off of our 'to-do' list is reading or listening to a familiar story. We remember the gist of it, but actually opening the Bible and turning to the accounts that Matthew and Luke offer takes us even deeper. We are all busy. We all have demands from outside or within that occupy our time. But, the church's annual return to these same passages is a beautiful reminder that some tasks need to be repeated. We need to read the story, again. We need to marvel at the faith of that young woman, again. We need to be inspired by the obedience of that young man, again. We need to get lost in the wonder of God's peculiar way of operating through the meek, the forgotten, and the tossed aside, again.
   My prayer for you and for me is that we would spend these last days of the Season of Advent preparing to do some things all over again. Grace and Peace, Scott

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/12/christians-at-christmas-prepared-to-do-it-all-over-again/

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