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The 12 Editor


Mixed Motives

Reformed folk don't need to be embarrassed by mixed motives. What other kind of motives are there? As 2017 draws to a close, we hope you are motivated to express your gratitude to The Twelve and Perspectives with a financial gift. You also may be motivated to do some year-end charitable giving to reduce your 2017 taxes. Let those two motivations…
December 28, 2017

Boxing Day

Boxing Day--in the United States, we’re never quite sure what to make of it. The tradition, we believe, is that today is the day you make a gift to your favorite blog, The Twelve, and journal, Perspectives! Perhaps you found some dollars under the tree yesterday. Perhaps you’re looking to do a little charitable giving before the end of the…
December 26, 2017

First Person

from Debra Rienstra--I’m sorry that I have to be away today. But I would like to remind you of our sister blog, the post calvin, and introduce you to one of the new regular contributors there, Jenna Griffin, a 2017 Calvin College graduate. For the month of November, the 28 regular writers for the post calvin chose the theme of…
December 9, 2017


By Katy Sundararajan Due to construction on the Western Theological Seminary campus, getting into my office has provided some daily doses of excitement this fall. Finding the correct pathway or entrance has occasionally been part of it, just as the ever-changing scenery of both holes in the dirt and subsequent piles of dirt have kept me curious. I’ve been astonished…
December 2, 2017


Proper 29 Reign of Christ Sunday Matthew 25:31-46 by Justin Meyers One of the beliefs that many Muslims and Christians share is that there will be a final judgement. Many Muslims also believe, like Christians, that Jesus will play a pivotal role in this judgement. This passage in Matthew is one that I can imagine my Muslim friends agreeing with…
November 26, 2017

Three, or Four, Gs

By Jeff Munroe “Why write a poem at a time like this?” a poet friend asks, and if you are like me, you intuitively feel the answer but cannot always articulate it. Makoto Fujimura’s new book Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for our Common Life (IVP) says what so many of us feel. Who doesn’t identify with his call away…
November 25, 2017

Filled with God’s Spirit to be an Artist

Dear Readers, I'm pleased to share with you this thoughtful reflection written by Karen Barker as part of a fall sermon series our church has been doing on the book of Exodus.  Karen's honest wrestling with her vocation as an artist and its tenuous relationship with the church resonates with so many of us who believe that art is more than…
November 20, 2017

Trading & Investing

Proper 28 Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 25:14-30 By Justin Meyers The Reformed Church in America’s roots in Oman go back to 1891 when Samuel Zwemer met with the Sultan of Oman to discuss ways that we could help his country. In 1893, Peter Zwemer and James Cantine came, and we have had people here ever since. What started with…
November 19, 2017

Choose This Day…or some day in the future

Proper 27 23rd Sunday after Pentecost Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 by Justin Meyers One day, not long ago, I was driving home from visiting the Hindu temple in Oman (a Muslim majority nation) with my two school-aged sons. The back seat was unusually quiet when my oldest son, age 10 at the time, piped up, “Dad are we Christian because you…
November 12, 2017

The Remembering Present

Flash-backs falsify the Past: they forget the remembering Present. ––W. H. Auden, from “I Am Not a Camera" by Steven Rodriguez Can you imagine what it would be like if we had documentary footage of the crucifixion? (I know this is a ridiculous thought, but let’s entertain it for just a moment.) If we had a home video of Christ’s…
November 11, 2017