You and I are dirt creatures. Scripture describes us as dirt sculptures made alive by the spirit of God. The Lord God formed the human from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living being. (Genesis 2:7) It’s not all that different from frosty the snowman. You know, you build a human form from snow, you give it facial features, and then something magical animates good old frosty! In the snowman’s case, it was an old silk hat. In our......
A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital. just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” Can you explain? . . . . . . If you haven’t yet figured it out, the surgeon is the boys MOTHER! If you didn’t get it at first (or if you end ahead before you really thought about it), then you are like most people who don’t get this right away......
To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love. David J. Bosch As we continue to reflect on mission this Lent, consider this quote from missiologist and theologian David Bosch. He reminds us that mission begins with God as a movement of love, specifically the divine sending love towards humans. Let’s explore this for just a few moments. God’s love is understood by Christians in a specific way. It’s not just an abstract love. Instead, it is a......
Imagine talking to someone about God who had never heard of such a being. What would you say? How would you describe God? What characteristics best communicate who God is? Or pretend you wee introducing God at a big fancy event to people who had never heard of God. What are God’s accomplishments, highlights or achievements? What would God’s biography look like? One psalmist does just this. Psalm 50 opens with a poetic bio of God. Check it out… From the rising of the sun to where it sets, God, the Lord......
God has made a fresh decision, and this new one does not come as threat but as child. He does not come as victory but as helpless child. He does not come in pride but in a way almost unnoticed by the world. But he is king. He is not robed in splendor but in baby clothes. He is not in the royal nursery but in a barn. None of it makes any sense. At least it does not make sense to people who think they have all of life reduced to......
“Mighty God” (Isa. 9: 6) is the name of this child. The child in the manger is none other than God himself. Nothing greater can be said: God became a child. In the Jesus child of Mary lives the almighty God. Wait a minute! Don’t speak; stop thinking! Stand still before this statement! God became a child! Here he is, poor like us, miserable and helpless like us, a person of flesh and blood like us, our brother. And yet he is God; he is might. Where is the divinity, where is......
Immanuel. A simple Hebrew phrase we say and sing during the Advent and Christmas seasons to remind us of the real reason for the season. Immanuel (sometimes written Emmanuel) literally means “with us is God,” or, more simply, “God with us.” The meaning of Jesus birth is essentially immanuel. That is, the baby Jesus is literally God coming in human form to be with us. Immanuel first appears in Isaiah 7: Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome......
We serve God by serving others. Sounds simple, but in practice it’s more complicated. Just ask Joshua. Joshua understood the difficulty of serving God. And at the end of then book which bears his name in the Hebrew Bible, Joshua tries to explain the difficulty to the people of Israel. The story goes like this: Joshua: You should serve God, but if you can’t don’t make the commitment. Ok, now choose…who will you serve? As for my family , we will serve God. People: We will serve God! Joshua: No, you won’t.......
This evening, as our family drove home from dinner, we were greeted in Angier by a beautiful pink sunset. Something about the carefully crafted colors that were woven together and blushed by the fluffy clouds was comforting. There was something in this sunset that spoke “Peace, be still.” I am a peacemaker. And being a peacemaker is tough work. I am reminded in these days following the Charlottesville conflict and after hearing about many brooding conflicts in our nation and around the world how important peacemaking is. And…I have had conversations with......
A sigh is so easily misunderstood. By definition, to sigh is to “emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.” A lot can be wrapped up in a sigh. I often let out sighs after moving a heavy piece of furniture, or laying my head down on pillow at the end of a tiring day, or when I try to communicate clearly to someone just to be misunderstood. Literally, a sigh helps lighten the load…physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Romans passage for this week says, for we......