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Showing posts from February, 2012

Weekly Reflection - 26 February 2012

Mark 1.9-15; CEB. About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan river. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”
At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.
After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and believe this good news!”
What is the Gospel?
This is a question that some people think has already been answered and canonized in the Nicene Creed. Others might say it’s, “Christ died for our sins in line with the scriptures, he was buried, and he rose on the third day in line with the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15.3-4; CEB)…

Some thoughts from Malachi

Malachi 3.5, CEB: I will draw near to you [with justice]. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, the adulterers, those swearing falsely, against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages as well as oppress the widow and the orphan, and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me, says the LORD of heavenly forces.
I ran across this verse today while finishing up my studies for tomorrow's adult education class. What jumped off the page for me was the combination of the things God would judge. Other than the list itself, was the fleshing out of some of the complaints. I mean, we have "sorcerers" and "adulterers" given without really telling us what those things are. This leads me to see that perhaps it's we who have muddled those waters (although, I would like to have had "sorcerers" explained; I guess I'll have to do some digging on that word in the context of the Jewish Scriptures). But then the writers …

Weekly Reflection - 19 February 2012

Mark 9.2-9

The Transfiguration. Like last weeks story, this is a story we are most familiar with. Jesus takes James, John, and Peter up a mountain to pray (Luke 9). While there, Jesus' countenance "shown like the sun, and his clothes became white as light" (Matthew 17). The suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and they started talking to him "about his departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem" (Luke 9).

Terrified, Peter blurts out, "It's great that we're here! I know, to keep this monumental place, let's make a temple. No, better yet, let's make three temples - one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah! This way we can always come back here to worship and remember."

Suddenly God shows up like in olden times - in the form of a cloud and tells the men to shut up and listen to Jesus, but in a nicer way. Filled with awe, the three men fell on their faces (Matthew 17). When Jesus came to them and aroused them telling them not to be fr…

Weekly Reflection - 12 February 2012

2 Kings 5:1–14

This is a very familiar story. We've heard it all before. But, is there anything that stood our? Anything that surprised you?
God uses "common" people There are a couple of things that stand out to me. First, God did not go through the "leadership" to get this done. This is a pattern we see over and over both in Scripture and history. And for some reason we still don't get it. We still think that God must work through those in charge to get things accomplished. But, as we can see in this lesson, a lot of times, those in charge may actually hinder what God wants to do. God worked through the servants to guide others to reconciliation. Each servant spoke God's word to their "masters" or for their "masters." And, on more than one occasion, those in power didn't see the working of God - first the king of Israel and then Naaman himself.
Participatory reconciliation Second, there is participatory reconciliation. That is, God …