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Series: New Testament Eschatology

From time to time, I hear a lot about the early church’s understanding of the “end of the world” or their belief that the “Second Coming of Jesus” would take place within their generation. And it’s usually not in a very good light. “They were obviously mistaken,” is often the remark I hear most. I know it’s hard to imagine but what if we’re mistaken? What if we’ve misunderstood what they meant? I’m hoping that this series on some of the major statements from the New Testament about the “end of the world” will show that they weren’t mistaken in their understanding of the “signs of the times.”

Before we begin, however, let’s look at some terms that will have to be used. As most of you know, I try to refrain from using big “church” words. My reason for this is because those words are like suitcases where ideas and thoughts and understandings are packed into them. To explain the words would mean a long time spent unpacking the suitcases and explaining their contents. While such a pilgrimag…

Lectionary Reflection—23 July 2017

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (adapted): Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. 25While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. 26When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.

27“The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’

28“ ‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered.

“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’

29“But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

[…] 36Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in th…

Pipe Smoking—The Pipe Parts and Stuff

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis

In our previous post, we talked about the different shapes of a smoking pipe. So today we’re going to talk about the different parts of a pipe and some of the tools you’ll need for smoking your pipe.

Now that you have your first pipe (congratulations, by the way!), let’s talk about the different parts of your pipe.

As you can see in the above image, a pipe has two basic sections, the stummel and the stem. The stummel is the wood part and the stem is the mouthpiece.

The stummel can be made of different material but is generally briar wood. Briar (Fr. bruyère)comes from a flowering, evergreen shrub (erica arborea) in the heather family that grows in the Mediterranean Basin. After the shrub has reached maturity…

Lectionary Reflection—16 July 2017

Matthew 13:1-9 [10-17], 18-23 (CEV; adapted):1 That same day Jesus left the house and went out beside Lake Galilee, where he sat down to teach. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to sit in a boat, while the people stood on the shore. 3Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:

“A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. 4While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. 5Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. 7Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. 8But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered. 9If you have ears, pay attention!”
[10Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you use nothing but stories when you speak to the pe…