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Showing posts from November, 2007

The End of the World!

Well, not really...but kinda.

Our lessons this last week had a 'end of the world' flair and some people took it literally -- both in the texts and the study groups I was in. Our Old Testament Lesson was taken from Malachi:
Malachi 4.5-6. Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.
In one group I led, I asked the men they understood this passage. The ones who answered said that is was still in our future. I'm sure that many people, especially here in the States, do too. But let's do a little theme study.
Matthew 11.11-15. "I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, t…

Affirmations

I like it when I get affirmations about things I see in the Scriptures. A couple of examples of this took place this last week.

First, in Education for Ministry (EfM), Year One is reading the Old Testament (or Jewish Scriptures). Our lesson was over the call and covenant of Abraham. Well, the whole Abraham story, actually. Anyway, there is a great scene when YHWH makes the covenant with Abraham. In Genesis 15.17-18a, we read:
After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day (New Living Translation, emphasis added).
Notice again the 'smoking firepot and a flaming torch'. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you read that? For a number of years I have seen the Exodus in those symbols. In the Exodus, YHWH lead the people by a 'pillar of cloud' during the day and a 'pillar of fire' at night (Exodus 13.21). In th…

Ministry of Reconciliation -- Part 4

The Gateway of Hope

Previously we have learned that the ministry of reconciliation has (at least) four parts: 1) definition; 2) reconciling ourselves to God; and 3) reconciling with other people. In this fourth and final part we will be looking at how we can be reconciled with all of creation.

Before we can see where we are going, it might be helpful to see from where we have come.
Genesis 1.27-31. God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

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 ha…