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Showing posts from January, 2015

What Do We Do About Them? - Acts 17:16-34

I have remained silent on an issue that troubled so many over the last week and a half.I have listened and read as folks on one side of the issue or the other have quickly offered their thoughts…some I believe without running them through the filter of common sense (and just to let you know, if any of you and I have engaged in written or verbal dialogue in the last week and a half, I am not talking about any of you—when I question the common sense, I am thinking of some of the religious leaders across our nation), others I have watched respond out of fear or operating out of a bias that they have been taught over time.I know it is a subject matter that consumed many of our congregation, because while the news may have been out there, I must have been contacted by four or five members of our congregation within two hours of the issue being picked up by national news services.For those of us who missed the unbelievable controversy, it is the question of the Muslim call of prayer being s…

A War Cry: The Magi - Matthew 2:1-18

We’ve spent a lot of time in the darkness of Christmas…or at least the darkness of the nativity story as the first Christmas occurred without Christmas carols and Christmas trees, without blinking lights or elves in Christmas tights…, or as Dr. Suess would put it: “it came without ribbons!...it came without tags!...it came without packages, boxes, or bags.”[i]Since mid-November we have been explored the dark world into which Jesus was born as God declared that the time had come for evil, sin, and even death to be defeated.
We journeyed to tiny Bethlehem with its history of idolatry, prejudice, betrayal, brutal violence, and death.
We walked with Mary as she put her relationship with her family, and even her own life, on the line to respond to God’s call to service—and found herself a rejected, outcast, teenage pregnant mom-to-be.
We stood by Joseph as he chose not to reject Mary and in taking her into his life risked his reputation, his financial security, and his family connections and …

A War Cry: Simeon and Anna - Luke 2:23-28

We’re nearing the end of our journey, as we’ve been considering God’s Christmas declaration of war on evil, sin, and death. Bethlehem indicated that there is no place too small or with too dark a history for God to enter into and redeem. Mary and Joseph’s entry into God’s service showed us what it means to risk everything, family, friends, finances, reputation, and life in order to serve God. The baby Jesus called us to a life of humble service, where we put the needs of others above ourselves, and never consider any area of service beneath us. The shepherds and angels remind us we can have peace in all things because God has come to be among us and brought with Him a division of angels that surround us at all times.
Some would think we’re done at this point, others would suggest that we have one more group to cover, namely the wise men.Considering that the wise men did not show up at the manger, but likely at Mary and Joseph’s home when Jesus was a toddler, for reasons we’ll get into …