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Showing posts from December, 2006

Today's Gospel

[The] creator God so desires to intimately relate with each of us that he became one of us so we could know and understand him. Further . . . this god-man was rejected by those who should have recognized him, was betrayed by those closest to him, was torture[d] and beaten and finally put to the most shameful death imaginable under the powers of the day. Yet somehow this constituted his victory over those very powers as was vindicated by his resurrection and is now Lord of Heaven and Earth.
Scot McKnight


I would add some things to this, namely that this creator God can (only) be seen by looking at the first-century Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth revealed Israel's God, YHWH, the creator God. That at his resurrection he inagurated the New Creation. At that moment, the world changed. And now, because he is the world's true King, he demands believing obedience from the cosmos (Acts 17.30; Romans 1.5). And those of us who do believe this story are called …

Prayer for Today

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Vegetarianism

I have decided to become a vegetarian.

When I brought this up with my wife (who has been an on-again-off-again vegetarian for a while) she asked me why the change of mind. What follows is a summary of my change of mind and heart on the matter.

I believe that YHWH, the creator God, is the good God who created a 'very good' world. If we look at the beginning we will see that people, as well as animals, were vegetarian:
Genesis 1.29-31. Then God said, "Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.

Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
So, that is how God's 'very good' creation started -- with everything eating plants. Therefore, because people rebelled and 'death entered …

Seventy times seven

Daniel 9.24. 'A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place.'
This is the end of exile. The chapter starts with Daniel praying because he had read in the book of Jeremiah that the people of God would be in exile for seventy years (verse 2). The seventy years were almost up and he was praying for God's mercy (vv. 3-19).

Then Gabriel appeared to Daniel and gave him some instruction concerning his dream (vv. 20-23). The beginning of this instruction is found in verse 24, which I quoted above. Again, the idea here is that, first, it won't be at the end of the seventy years, but at the end of seventy sets of seven years, or four hundred-ninety years. That is when the 'end of exile' would actually take place. During that time, people will b…

Prayer for Today

Merciful God, you made all people, and you hate nothing that you have made; you do not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he or she should be converted and live. Have mercy on your ancient people, the Jews, and upon all who have not known you and your love in your son, the King of the Jews, or who deny or oppose the faith of the crucified Messiah; take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt for your word, and fetch them home to your fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd: through the same Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and King. Amen.

Thoughts from Sunday School

I have been thinking a lot about our Sunday School class last Sunday. In closing, Fr Dwight made a statement that I think most people, well, here in American anyway, can't quite grasp. The idea of national judgment.

When we look at the over-arching story of the Bible it is not entirely concerned with individuals. Okay, sure, there are smaller stories that are about God and an individual. But those stories are about what God will do through that person for God's people, and ultimately the whole world. I think about the judgement of God upon Israel in the 500s where they were taken off into exile by the Babylonians. Surely there were righteous Israelites living at that time. Surely the entire nation was not corrupt. And yet they all were taken in to captivity. Or, like the Maccabees, they were tortured and killed (but none the less, that happened while they were still in exile). I think we Americans are living in this false hope, because of how we were presente…

Prayer for Today...

God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus the King our Lord. Amen.