"My kingdom does not belong to this world." But we sure act like it does. We're willing to tolerate the meek, weak, vulnerable, love your enemies Jesus, as long as he comes back in the second act and kicks some ass, smiting those same enemies and sending them straight to hell. They may have had the upper hand in this life, but we'll be calling the shots for all eternity! The kingdom we've built in our hearts and minds may not be on this planet, at least not yet, but it is definitely of this world. "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." And the truth we refuse to hear is that we are the only ones who care about dominion, power, glory, majesty, etc, etc. God comes to us as a brother, and we give her a crown instead. Why are we so terrified of being family?
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
"Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place ... But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." For someone who's divine, Jesus sure doesn't seem all that omniscient here. You can almost see the scripture scholars twisting themselves into knots trying to theologize it away. Why? The simplest explanation is that Jesus was limited and fallible; in other words, fully human. The beauty in the story of the Incarnation is that God chose to become weak and vulnerable in order to show us the depth of her love. You really think he's the kind of lover who'd be afraid to embrace the whole package?
Sunday, November 11, 2012
"Do not be afraid." That is what these widows say to us. "Do not be afraid." Fame and wealth cannot provide the security we desire, but they will blind us. These widows are not entering into dependency by surrendering everything they have. They are acknowledging that each of us is utterly dependent on God from the moment of our births. We may not like it, but truth is truth. "Do not be afraid."
Sunday, November 4, 2012
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." What would you think of parents who demanded "burnt offerings and sacrifices" from their children as proof of their offspring's love and devotion? And what would you think of the children who believed that such actions were necessary to earn their parent's love and care? So why are we so eager to be in such a relationship with our Parent? Is that about love, or fear? Do we really want to reach "the kingdom of God," or are we just afraid of being left behind?
Friday, November 2, 2012
"Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage." We can say these words because our Parent became one of us, walked beside us, and died like us, so that we would know that death was nothing to fear. They do this all the time, but we don't understand why they do it, so we refuse to see them. Our problem is not sin and our need is not salvation. We are impotent, insecure, and fearful, and we desperately seek hope. It is right here for the taking, so hear me now: we are all God's "holy ones," and their will is that every one of us "shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come." So say we all!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
From a historical standpoint, almost all of us are unremarkable. We will not be in the textbooks of the next millennium, and no one will care about our absence. But here's the Good News: God is not a historian! She loves each of us as the most remarkable of their creations, and he knows that we are extraordinary. Just read your local newspaper's obituary pages, and the truth that each of our lives is exceptional will shine through. So our Good News today is this: we are a family of saints.