Tag Archives: Love

25Feb/24

Get Behind Me

Several years ago, the editor in chief of Christianity Today recounted several conversations that he had had with pastors in his denomination. The pastors told him that when they preached from the Sermon on the Mount – you know, things like “Blessed are the meek,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” or especially, “Turn the other cheek.” When they preached from the Sermon on the Mount, people would come up to them afterwards and say, “Where did you get those liberal talking points?” But when the pastors would say, “I was literally just quoting the words of Jesus,” the people would not say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize that.” Instead, they would say something to the effect of, “Okay, but that won’t work anymore. That’s weak.”

This is essentially what Peter did with Jesus in today’s Gospel. Peter, and most other people of his time hated the Roman oppressors in their land, and they were expecting a messiah that would come in with a mighty fist and power unseen before, and wipe out the enemies of Israel.

24Jul/22

Kingdoms

If you were to ask any random person on the street about a prayer that they could recite from memory, the Lord’s Prayer would make the top five. It seems that this is a prayer that everyone, whether they attend church now, or only as a child, has committed to memory. And as is often the case when we have committed words and phrases to rote memory, we often quit reflecting on their meanings and purpose.

18May/22

The Only Thing that Counts

hat’s more, Paul goes on to say, in the freedom that Christ’s death and resurrection had brought to them, upholding the rules and regulations really meant nothing. In Christ, the only thing that mattered was “faith working through love.” Paul then goes on in the next several verses to explain that the only real thing that matters is fulfilling the law by Loving your neighbor as yourself.

20Dec/21

Let Us Rejoice And Be Glad

Just this morning I ran across an old Facebook post on someone’s timeline. By old, I mean about three months old. It was of a letter from a political candidate who was predicting food shortages, lack of police officers; basically, general chaos moving into the fall and winter of 2021. The predictions were the typical fear-mongering, laced with a smattering of Biblical references to make the whole thing sound like the coming Apocalypse, and that this was prophecy. Cue the air raid claxons and the faint voices of monks chanting in the background.

28Nov/21

Heaven on Earth

Hope that focuses on an end to things is hope that is focused inward. Hope that focuses on an end to things is hope that expects a brighter future, but does not see that future around it in the present reality. Hope that focuses on an end to things is not a hope that lives in the reality of a future that is promised but not yet manifested.

22Aug/21

Standing Firm

When we make the armor of God about protecting ourselves, and our own minds, we begin to see the world in black and white, we begin to see the world in right and wrong, and we look for justifications to make sure that we are always “in the right.” And when we do that, we surround ourselves with people and with information that feeds upon those self-justifications. This then turns into an Us vs. Them mentality, and when we claim Christ as our mascot, our whole worldview turns into the idea of the Christ who agrees with us as Christ against Culture instead of Christ with Us, or Christ among us.

04Jul/21

Who Are You?

And they took offence at him. His very presence in the synagogue, “pretending” to be a spiritual leader, incited their wrath, and they were scandalized by his presence there as one who would presume to teach them.

They knew him from when he was but a boy, and here he was taking on more authority than he ought to, more than he was allowed to, given his history, given what they knew about him.

And the result, Mark says, is that he did not do many works of power there. Instead, Jesus marveled at their disbelief.