Warnings From Israel’s History

crying doll, to illustrate mourning over the loss of in-person church services

Mourning over the loss of in-person church services

Do you mourn over the loss of in-person church services? If so, you’re not alone. But my question is actually more about the mourning. The process. The reasons why you mourn. That’s because the Bible actually gives us lessons, of a sort, on how and why to mourn. They’re in one of those Old Testament books that we don’t really like to read.

Lamentations is all about mourning. Grieving. All the gory details of what happened to Jerusalem, Judah, Zion, the Israelites when they were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and sent into exile.

I believe they can help us today as well,
with COVID and the loss of in-person church services.

Blessed are the pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart

Blessed are the pure in heart.  What does that even mean?  In this day and age, do we even know what the word “pure” means?  And what’s meant by the word heart?  We hopefully know it’s not about someone with a healthy heart pumping pure blood without infections, foreign matter, or other impurities.  But what is it?

Don't wait until you're ready

Don’t settle for less, #05: Don’t wait until you’re ready

Don’t wait until you’re ready

If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting your entire life.  OK, I’ll go along with that part.  Even with: be as prepared as you can, but then dive in headfirst.

That’s all good stuff for the secular world.  But we’re taking this to look at what it takes to be a successful Christian.  Hopefully this part’s obvious, but we really ought to wait until God’s ready.

Temptation - Did the Pope really change the Lord's Prayer?

Temptation – Did the Pope really change the Lord’s Prayer?

Did the Pope really change the Lord’s Prayer?  He did.  Sort of.  Pope Francis did change the translation of the Lord’s Prayer.  But the original Greek remains.  Christians believe, should believe, the Bible is the inspired word of God.  The translations are not the inspired word of God.  We hope they translators do a proper job.  But a look at various translation and especially at various commentaries on the Bible tells us they often don’t agree.  Even on key points like “lead us not into temptation”, they don’t agree.

Parable of The Wise And The Foolish Builders

Parable of The Wise And The Foolish Builders

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.

Grown-again Christian

Grown-again Christian

Have you ever heard of a Grown-again Christian?  Me neither. But the Apostle Paul did. “But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast.” The Message

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