Category Archives: Bible

October 21, 2019

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Many of you know what a CROP Walk is. For those who don’t, it is one of those fund raising walks where people ask others to sponsor them and the donations go to deal with hunger issues. CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty and the relief organization is Church World Service. Most of the people who donate don’t care how far we walk or even if we walk. This year it rained and only a few of us made the trek. Did it matter since people would most likely give their money anyway? I think so. Without the donations it would have been a self-serving activity, a Sunday afternoon walk with friends. But without the walk we would have lost a connection with those who must walk to deal with their daily need for food, water and other necessities. In a very small way it helped us participate, if only symbolically, in carrying someone else’s burden. This week, how will you carry a burden and fulfill the law of Christ?
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September 30, 2019

Romans 12:4 we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. (The Message Bible)

Why can’t we have Christmas the whole year around? So asks the song I found on YouTube. It seems to be on the Hallmark channel. It will be here in less than three months now. Given the above words from Romans maybe we should be celebrating Christmas the whole year around. At Christmas we claim and celebrate that God became human in Jesus- what we call the incarnation. Paul says above that this still the case but instead of a single human body Jesus is present in the collective flesh and blood of all those who trust in him. You are Christmas through your faith in him. While you are putting out Halloween decorations remember that it is already Christmas. What do you need to do this week to be your part of Jesus’ presence in the world?

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September 23, 2019

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This is Jesus speaking to the woman at the well. If you are not familiar with the story go back and read it starting at John 4:1. The verse before this, verse 23, reads “an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” What do those two words, spirit and truth, mean to you? There have been lots of things written in lots of scholarly books and you can look them up if you like. As I read it this time around it struck me that spirit looks inward to the depth of my being while truth looks out to something real beyond myself. Jesus spoke this all to a woman who by the default of her culture and historical setting was assuredly not a scholar. Yet Jesus expected those words to resonate with her and with readers throughout the ages. How do they resonate with you? What does it mean for you to worship God in spirit and truth? Is that something you want for your life?

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September 9, 2019

Acts 28:15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.

I’ve discovered Marco Polo, have you? Marco Polo is an app for cell phones that allows you to share short videos with other individuals or small groups you create. My children guided me through all this, of course, and since then we have had daily interactions that keep us up to date with one another and usually the whole family. It is the blessing of technology but it doesn’t replace having them in the living room sharing stories and laughs together over food and drink. You can’t hug a cell phone. Woody Allen is credited with saying that 80% of life is just showing up. The people in the above verse showed up for Paul as he was concluding a long and dangerous journey as a prisoner to Rome. These folks showed up so Paul would know he was not alone as he faced trial in the coming months. They showed up because they shared a common concern for Jesus and therefore each other. This week consider, for whom is God asking you to “show up”?

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September 2, 2019

Matthew 7:27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

The news coverage this past weekend was dominated by Dorian. I can not even begin to imagine what 200 mph winds are like!
The verse above is from a story Jesus told advising people to have good foundations, foundations in God, for their lives. Sometimes life can feel like a series of storms- health, relationships, finances, etc. Just when one gets settled another comes along. Jesus didn’t tell folks he would remove the storms from their lives, only that he could sustain them through the storms. What storms are you facing this week? How might God guide you through them?

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August 26, 2019

Genesis 2:2-4 By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. (The Message Bible)

It is interesting that our culture ends its summer vacation season with a holiday celebrating labor! Teachers and students are taking a deep breath and preparing for the marathon that is the school year. Lots of others are remembering the fun of relaxing time off and/or away in the sun. Meanwhile, Monday honors all the work that builds and sustains our society and world. According to the Bible, work is good. Rest is good. Life is good when we keep the balance between the two. It reflects something of the nature of God according to the above verse. Rest can become laziness. Work can become obsession. Both can be the blessing God intended when lived in faithfulness. How will you faithfully keep the proper balance between work and rest, activity and sabbath, in the coming year?

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August 19, 2019

Luke 16:11, 12 Jesus went on to make these comments:

If you’re honest in small things,
    you’ll be honest in big things;
If you’re a crook in small things,
    you’ll be a crook in big things.
If you’re not honest in small jobs,
    who will put you in charge of the store? (The Message Bible)

 

If you like nostalgia or you are easing into your seniorhood you may remember a song titled Little Things Mean A Lot (www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=35&v=2C7SzKv2uLU). It was a hit for Kitty Kellen in 1953. I don’t think she was inspired by the story in Luke 16 but both make a similar point. Life in general, and particularly in relationships, are composed mostly of little things, day to day activities and attitudes. Done repetitively over the years, these are the things that determine to a large extent who we really are and what our lives are all about. Sure, there are the big moments in life that get much of the stories and attention, but they are mostly few and far between, while how we handle the time in-between that makes a big difference. Do the little things mean a lot to God? Jesus indicates that it does. What little things, particularly in the context of relationships, would God wish you focused more faithfully?

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