Dear Church, It pains and sickens me to post this photo, but this is where we find our nation at this moment. The worst part of Wednesday, in my opinion, was all the people carrying Jesus signs and crosses and dragging Jesus’ name into this display of hatred […]
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.
Tonight we watch the clock tick-tock until we turn, turn, turn the page to a New Year and lay to rest a difficult one! I was inspired to adapt Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 made memorable by the 60’s hippy band “The Byrds.” Here’s my remix for Kingdom disciples.
We are only reading half the story if we focus only on the speechlessness of Zechariah. Before long the mute will become a minstrel, the silenced one will become a songbird, the castigated will become a crooner for Christ. And what will be the song on Zechariah’s lips?
In this fourth beatitude, Jesus gives a sympathetic nod to all those who are so hungry for a more just world that they have become angry at all that stands in the way. Blessed are all the irritable and bad-tempered perfectionists and battle-weary social activists who are ready to punch a hole through the wall or throw a brick at the television.
While the “Most Likely To Succeed” badge may come with a superstitious curse attached, the “Class Mooch” has a very real cultural curse attached to it. In America we celebrate self-made successful people, and look down on the moochers who are dependent on others. What do we make of Jesus’s 3rd Beatitude that seems to promise the farm to the underachieving brother?
If chasing worldly happiness is a “yuppie” preoccupation, then we live in a yuppie nation and breathe the oxygen of a yuppie culture. At the end of the day, however, the Bible isn’t a handbook for happiness; it’s a pathway to holiness.
Ebenezer Scrooge had a hard time grasping and embracing the spirit and message of Christmas. The rich and self-sufficient always do. Their own personal kingdoms loom so large that they have a hard time making room for God’s Kingdom—and all the poor and lowly riff-raff to whom it belongs.
Thirty years have passed since I sat on the garage roof staring up at the night sky. The worries and cares of a middle schooler have been upgraded to the burdens of a father, husband and pastor living in this current moment of darkness and fear. Perhaps, this Advent, you also feel like we’re sitting collectively on a cold and icy roof, staring up at the Heavens and badly need to hear these words this Advent: “The people sitting in a pandemic have seen a great light, and to those sitting in the land and shadow of covid, a light has dawned on them” (Matt 4:16).
If you’re looking to escape to simpler times, and treat your family to a moral power wash and social media detox, I heartily recommend revisiting this classic television series together.
When a “ship” (or society) begins to come apart at the seams, you reinforce it with what has hitherto bound it together, and toss overboard the things that are sinking it.