Out of Weakness

“…who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Heb. 11:33-34, ESV). On Easter Sunday, before church, I was thinking about how weak I feel…

Out, Damn’d Spot!

 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her  to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless“ (Eph. 5:25-27).  Our pastor…

Lord of the Dance

“Lord of the Dance” is a hymn written by Sydney Carter in the 1960s and set to the Shaker tune, “Simple Gifts.” I have been unable to get it out of my head. For over a week, this song greets me when I get up and pops in my head throughout the day. Even when…

Yes, I Will Say His Name

Since the murder of George Floyd, American cities have experienced paroxysms of protests and riots. To date, three separate protests have happened where I live, which is saying something for our small town.  Thankfully, they remained peaceful; some of our police participated, exchanged fist-bumps with protesters, and walked along to show support.  Along with real…

The Kenosis Conundrum

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to hold onto.  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men” (Php. 2:5-7). When Paul says Jesus emptied Himself, what does he mean?  Debates about this center on the Greek…

Can’t Keep Us Down

In many places, gatherings of any size have been restricted to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  On Sunday, our church live-streamed our worship service for the first time ever.  Many other churches did this as well, and I checked out portions of the other services in our community.   It was fun to be…

Everything Will Fall

On December 1st I woke from a dream that left me unsettled.  It was a long rambling dream, but I knew the end was from the Lord.  In the dream, I was talking with a friend who pastors a church.  He was telling me the church suddenly fell apart and closed.  He said, “Everything seemed…

Embalmed

After Jacob dies, he is embalmed (Gen. 50:2-3).  Embalming was an Egyptian practice and betrays something of the world’s mindset. Embalming was and is meant to preserve the dead person.  There have been various methods throughout history but the basic idea is the same: the dead flesh is treated with substances that slow decay.  Modern…

Circulation

First Thessalonians three finds Paul relieved that the Thessalonians are continuing to believe Jesus despite persecution: “For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8).  This is an expression of happiness but also much more. Paul has written much about the Thessalonians’ participation in the sufferings of Jesus, as well…

He Is Risen in Us

The following appeared in our local paper last weekend. I adapted it from something I posted last fall *** What does it mean to witness Christ’s resurrection? We might wish we were present when Jesus rose from the dead. But would this make us witnesses of Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28 helps us consider these things….