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Showing posts from September, 2016

Lectionary Reflection—25 September 2016

Luke 16.19-31 (adapted): “There was a certain rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and who feasted luxuriously every day. At his gate lay a certain poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores.
“The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. While being tormented in the place of the dead, he looked up and saw Abraham at a distance with Lazarus at his side. He shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I’m suffering in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received good things, whereas Lazarus received terrible things. Now Lazarus is being comforted and you’re in great pain. Moreover, a great crevasse has been fixed between us and you. Those who wish to cross over from here to you…

But why, though?

A friend posed a question on social media asking what’s the reason and purpose we follow the commandments and tenets of our faith. I replied:
“To love all, serve all, forgive all, and create no sorrow.”
To which I was asked, “But why?”
And here’s my reply:
The short answer? Because the love of Christ compels me.
The long answer? Because I believe that God is Love (1 John 4.8). That the God of all creation was embodied (somehow, mystically) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth (Colossians 1.15). That through Jesus’ life and death, God reconciled the world to Godself (2 Corinthians 5.19; Colossians 1.19-20) and started the rescue of all creation. That through him, God continues to work through people and has given humanity the job of extending that life, love, and rescue to all others—humans and non-humans alike (1 Corinthians 3.9; 2 Corinthians 6.1). That God’s “ultimate future” is “someday” all of creation will become one with God’s Realm of Love, Peace, and Justice (Revelation 21.1-5). Tha…

Lectionary Reflection—18 September 2016

Luke 16.1-13 (adapted): Jesus also said to the disciples, “A certain rich man heard that his household manager was wasting his estate. He called the manager in and said to him, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Give me a report of your administration because you can no longer serve as my manager.’
“The household manager said to himself, ‘What will I do now that my master is firing me as his manager? I’m not strong enough to dig and too proud to beg. I know what I’ll do so that, when I am removed from my management position, people will welcome me into their houses.’
“One by one, the manager sent for each person who owed his master money. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your contract, sit down quickly, and write four hundred fifty gallons.’ Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘One thousand bushels of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your contract and write eight hundred.’
“T…

Lectionary Reflection—04 September 2016

Philemon 1.1-21 (adapted): From Paul, who’s a prisoner for the cause of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy.
To Philemon our dearly loved coworker, Apphia our sister, Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church that meets in your house.
May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus the Christ be with you.
Philemon, I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers because I’ve heard of your love and faithfulness, which you have both for the Lord Jesus and for all God’s people. I pray that your partnership in the faith might become effective by an understanding of all that’s good among us in Christ. I have great joy and encouragement because of your love, since the hearts of God’s people are refreshed by your actions, my brother.
Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to command you to do the right thing, I’d rather appeal to you through love. I, Paul—an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus—appeal to you for my child Onesimus. I became his …