The end of the book of Genesis contains what has been called the Joseph Narratives. These scenes move […]
A good story meets you in the midst of life. It tells you something true, something you can relate to. It abducts you. It takes your heart unexpectedly. It gives you the breath of another life as a character in the fairy tale. It becomes a reality you dream is yours. It paints a world you cannot quite touch. It draws you in with emotion and connection, love and heartbreak, familiarity and fantasy. That is when you know it is a great story.
What if it was really true that Jesus reigns? What if it was really true that Jesus died […]
They call it the Great Commission. It is the sending out of the Church of God with a purpose, a mission that gives it its definition. This is not a one-time or temporary thing the Church is to do, like a checkmark on a long list of other priorities. No, this is its very identity. It is what we are to fill our days with as we await the end of all things and the return of our Lord. On a mountaintop in Galilee Jesus meets His disciples. There they worship their resurrected Lord and He says to them, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
We all ought to love the story of Nicodemus and his conversation with Jesus in John chapter 3. It is a fitting text for modern readers of the Word of God and plays well with our own understanding and practice of the faith. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and like all the Pharisees of his time the discussion of Jesus was first and foremost on his mind. He was not a figure anyone was going to ignore.
When I became a pastor, one of the questions asked of me in the ordination rite was if, “I would minister faithfully to the sick and dying, and demonstrate to the Church a constant and ready ministry of the Gospel?” To which I answered, “Yes, I will, with the help of God.” This meant my call as a pastor was not to stay within the walls of the church or to remain in my study, but it was, in part, to go to the sick and dying, go to those who could not come to church on their own, to those who needed the gifts of Christ brought to them.
In Michigan Groundhog Day carries a little more significance than those of you who dwell in more mundane and never changing climes. Winter gets hard around February and even though we snicker at that ridiculous rodent, a little pagan voice inside us prays to Brighid that Phil fails to see his shadow and Spring will come soon.
How can a word save you? It can steer away from harm and danger. It can encourage and inspire to do the right thing. It can tell you where to walk and how to live. A word can be a sweet comfort or a stern warning. It can speak of truth in a world of darkness. A word can speak of salvation, if only you can grasp it.
There’s a phrase that has appeared in Christmas lights upon homes across America, maybe even the world, during the Time of Christmas atleast since I was a child. “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” When I was younger, I always thought it was cool to see these words glittering in the many windows we passed by during the Christmas light tour my family would venture out on every year.
Just this morning, he heard something terrible. Life changing. Sickening. The path that he had focused so steadily […]