Text for the Day: Luke 2:22-40 – Simeon & Anna in the Temple Images of the Temple: Revealing an unexpected salvation Luke’s gospel draws the Temple in Jerusalem as an important symbol. The gospel opens at the Temple, where a priest named Zechariah is chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and […]
Who gets God’s mercy? Not them! Jesus certainly seems to have a knack for upsetting the orthodox, religiously impeccable Jewish authorities. Their carefully defined practices for maintaining ritual purity have been debated by the wisest of rabbis over time and serve as their assurance that they will be received into the presence of the Most […]
Jesus would say it a different way. Jesus says, “You gotta die a little” in being a faithful follower of God. There is a giving up of self (that means our desire to control everything) in order to honor the father. One has to lose ones’ self to save life. There is dying in order to rise to his glory.
This is God’s truth. Salvation and healing are found in facing who we are. When we’d rather run, we are invited to stare at Jesus, hanging on the cross, the Son of Man lifted up for us. We are invited to come face to face with our sin – the sin which Jesus carried to the cross on our behalf.
God’s rainbow is the sign of a promise. It is a “covenant”, an agreement or a contract (they are all the same). Like modern day contracts, there are two sides with each having a responsibility in order for it to work. Each side keeps their part of the agreement.
The study was on the calling of the disciples. It was on how those first disciples dropped everything to follow Christ. Pastor Bill’s purpose was to get people to start thinking about their call to Christ. So, the question he asked was: “If Jesus were to come up to you and say: “Follow me!” what would be your response?”
Uncomfortable. Threatened. Panicked. Even scared. We should be uncomfortable when it comes to baptism. We should be panicking when we really think about the power that is release by the Almighty when His Spirit comes to action in our lives. We should be even more scared when God drops down on us with the Holy Spirit.
“Am I pregnant?” “Am I a handmaid of God?” “Is God so real and alive in me that God is ready to spring forth?” “Has God gotten inside me?” How about you? Are you pregnant with God? Is the good news of God’s love bursting inside you? Has God gotten close to you?
By the time this part of the Pentecost season rolls around we start to hear a fair amount of “Kingdom” language. We are reading those parts of the Jesus story from Jesus’ last days on earth. At the end of Jesus’ ministry, the focus and attention had turned to his own death. Using stories and parables, Jesus paints pictures of a vision for God’s perfect Kingdom and God’s eternal reign.