Blessed are the meek   Recently updated !

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Sermon On The Mount

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Yeah.  That sounds about right.  The meek.  The weak people.  The ones who never stand up for themselves.  They just take whatever comes their way.  Truth is, they’re probably the only kind of people who would even accept this old broken down world as part of their inheritance.  Everyone else is smart enough to turn it down.  Of course, there’s always the question of whether we’ll just literally blow the whole thing up in one huge nuclear war.  Then the only inheritance is going to be a whole lot of cosmic dust.  For the meek.  Yeah – that sounds right.  Blessed are the meek – Not!

Except that it really doesn’t sound right.  On the off chance you don’t recognize the opening line, here it is again, with some “context” provided by text formatting.

Mt 5:5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

So it’s from Jesus.  The creator of this whole universe we live in.  Including this old broken down world.  And the creator of me and you.  Given that, something’s got to be wrong with that whole first paragraph.  The thing is though, I dare say, the majority of the world believes the first paragraph is true.  Unfortunately, if we’re honest, a look at the world around us shows that a number of people calling themselves Christians hold that same view.  Clearly, the truth of this simple beatitude is lost on much of the world. 

Blessed are the meek – it must be true.  Somehow.

Blessed are the meek - lamb

Parable of The Wise And The Foolish Builders

Parable of The Wise And The Foolish Builders

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The Parables of Jesus

The Parable of The Wise And The Foolish Builders.  One one level, it’s about the choice between building a house on rock or sand.  That sounds like an easy choice to make.  On another level, it’s about what we do, if anything, after hearing or reading what Jesus had to say.  It’s interesting that it comes at the very end of The Sermon On The Mount.  Chapters 5 to 7 of Matthew’s Gospel. 

John Stott says this about the passages:The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed. It is the nearest thing to a manifesto that he ever uttered, for it is his own description of what he wanted his followers to be and to do. To my mind, no two words sum up its intention better, or indicate more clearly its challenge to the modern world, than the expression ‘Christian counter-culture’.

That really sets up the “problems” with parables quite nicely.  They’re well known.  Easy to remember.  But hard to understand.  Just like the Sermon on the Mount.  There’s a saying about something being a riddle wrapped up in an enigma.  This is one of those.

Why did Jesus speak in parables?

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Parables of Jesus

Why did Jesus speak in parables?  There are easy answers to the question, but they are just that: easy.  Too easy.  As in Jesus spoke in parables because the Old Testament said He would.  Or maybe it was to make things easier to understand.  But then, it may have been to make them harder to understand.  But like the parable itself, the real answers are hidden behind the easy ones.

For instance, the image to the right is of a field.  But when Jesus used planting crops in a field in a parable, was He really talking about literal seeds, crops and produce?  Yes, but no.  There was more to it.

Why did Jesus speak in parables? Image is of a field, but the parable is about something else.

The forgotten holiday - Ascension Day

The problem of the forgotten holiday – Ascension Day 2

This entry is part 43 of 43 in the series The problem of ...

What is the forgotten holiday?  Actually, maybe not so much forgotten.  More like never really celebrated that much.  Ever.  I call it the “forgotten” holiday as a nod to Francis Chan’s book – The Forgotten God.  Does that help to identify it?  If you live someplace like France, Germany, Norway or Sweden – you’ll be wondering why I call it forgotten.  Your countries haven’t forgotten.  But if you’re like me, in the U.S. – or if you’re in the U.K., Canada or Australia – you get it.  Maybe, no matter the country, you get it if you’re Catholic.

So what is the forgotten holiday?  It’s Ascension Day. 

Which is more important – Christmas or Easter?

Which is more important – Christmas or Easter?  Since so many people only go to church on Christmas and Easter, I’m guessing it’s a tough choice.  So they cover the bases, so to speak, and go to church for both.  But what if I told you that choosing between the two of them is kind of like forgetting that there are four bases in baseball?  That covering the bases thing is leaving out two really important days?

Which is more important - Christmas or Easter?

The Problem of Being Selfish

This entry is part 42 of 43 in the series The problem of ...

The Problem of Being Selfish.  Yes, most of us know being selfish isn’t good.  And we’re really good at recognizing when other people are selfish.  But do we know when we are being selfish?  Furthermore, for Christians, do we even realize the full extent of our selfishness?  Not to mention, how we should react when other Christians are selfish?  It may not be what you think.

You can take the ___ out of ___, but …

You can take the ___ out of ___, but …   Let’s fill in the blanks.  Sort of.  As in – through Moses, God took the Israelites out of Egypt, but you can’t take Egypt out of the Israelites.

You can take the ___ out of ___, but ...

the problem of talking about problems

The problem of talking about problems

The problem of talking about problems.  Most people don’t like it when other people talk about their problems.  On the flip side, lots of people don’t like to talk about their problems either.  So should we talk about our problems?  Or should we stay silent?  Maybe something in between?  And if it’s the in-between approach – how do we decide when to talk and when to stay silent?

Is life meaningless?

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Life doesn't have to be meaningless

Is life really meaningless?
The answers are yes and no.
Really, the best answer is – life doesn’t have to be meaningless. 
But if we don’t choose to do the things necessary for our life to be meaningful, then it will be meaningless.

Is life really meaningless?

Christians - what are you wearing?

Christians – What are you wearing? Your Sunday best?

Christians – What are you wearing?  Your Sunday best?  Uh Oh.  Is this going to be about wearing clothes that are “appropriate” for Christians?  Like long dresses for women?  Suits and ties for men?  If that’s what your concerned about, don’t worry.  I’m talking something else entirely.  Something that really matters.  Something that makes a difference.