The story of the wise men on camels bringing their gifts is intertwined with the story of an insecure, paranoid, narcissistic tyrant orchestrating terror and chaos from his palatial office. Listen to the familiar story again, this time with your eyes glued on the pathetic sociopath spinning lies and plotting peril in the Christmas story.
If you’re like me, this New Year’s Eve you can’t decide if you feel like singing for joy as we put 2020 in the rearview, or whether you feel like crying alone in a corner, sucking your thumb, and loading up on comfort food to numb the pain and trauma of 2020. The wisdom of the Scriptures would suggest we probably need to sing most when we mostly feel like crying.
Unlike Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak that allowed him to move through crowds unseen, we are to put on the cloak of Christlike character and witness so everyone can get a glimpse of the Jesus who lives in us.
To all God’s beloved living in the United States today, Paul would write urging us, like the church in ancient Rome, to be a set-apart people, setting up little beachheads of Christ’s eternal kingdom right here and now in the swamp of partisan politics and idolatrous nationalistic sentiment.
As a 6′-7″ tall dude, I’ve had a hard time relating to Zacchaeus, the “wee little man” who couldn’t see Jesus because of the crowd. In a crowd of people, I am the “tree” that many are trying to see around!
“The obviously well kept secret of the “ordinary” is that it is made to be a receptacle of the divine, a place where the life of God flows.” -Dallas Willard
LECTIONARY REFLECTION | Psalm 119:97-104 In 1983 a shaggy haired rock ’n roller John Cougar Mellencamp released a new ditty called “The Authority Song.” The song captures the rebellious spirit of a teenager railing against authority figures who, in his mind, love putting people in their place and […]
LECTIONARY REFLECTION | 18th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c This week we’ll board a plane and take the kids to Disney World – the Magic Kingdom where all your dreams can come true with a little waving of the wand (and a lot of cash in […]
LECTIONARY REFLECTION | 17th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST LUKE 17:5-10 One of the hardest things to keep in balance is the fact that Jesus Christ is both “lover of our soul” and “Lord of the universe.” He’s beloved friend and coming King. One moment he is wooing us with […]
LECTIONARY REFLECTION | PROPER 20 | Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 We are really good at cherry-picking inspirational Bible verses, yanking them out of context, and printing them on t-shirts and those inspiring “Daily Verse Calendars.” While I’m all for a daily pick-me-up, this tendency also has a downside to consider. The […]