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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Word Became Flesh

Humans are limited by our human understanding of God.  And sometimes we re-create God in ways that we understand and limit God to our human thoughts.  But… John in his gospel is telling us about the Word sent into this world to reveal God to us.  
And we note a number of things about the Word that tell us just what kind of communication this is…
The Word is God, creator, pre-existent.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
      The Word was with God,
      and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
      and nothing was
created except through him.
Words have to do with communication… with words we communicate in an orderly fashion so that we might be coherently understood.  The Greek word for word is logos and has to do with logic… There is a logic about God in the way he is and the way he communicates.  John says that Jesus is the logos, logic, or the coherent communication of God…Jesus as logos fully reveals the divine will o…

The Song of Mary

I was reading a book on Mary... the author was writing about the song of Mary and how during a tumultuous time in South American, singing this song was tantamount to treason.  The rulers banned it and this song could not be sung in the churches.  When we think of Mary, we think of a kind-hearted country girl, tender, nurturing but that is not how Luke is showing her.  She dared to sing a song that challenged the powers.  The child she would bring into the world would be a new king… a threat to the control and power of the current king.  That’s why Herod sought to kill all of the babies in the city.  The reign of God is a threat to the reign of the sin system.   
In New Testament culture one’s honor was established in some sense by domination in which the strong and the mighty exercised dominion over the small and the weak.  To be a dominated people was a shameful condition for the people of God at the time Christ was born.  They had suffered years of brutal mistreatment at the hands of…

In Need of a Savior, Thoughts on Luke 2

These days in our nation are difficult.  We have come out of a serious recession, people all over our country have lost their homes, and are in serious debt.  We have been at war as a country.  Our federal government is in debt.  Our state government is in financial crisis and the jobless rate is unsteady.  Rape and domestic violence has risen and people are facing loss of home and country--there is difficulty all over our world.  There is no one person powerful enough to rescue us.  We are still a world in desperate need of a savior.  
The world within which Jesus arrived was also in need of a savior.  Times were even worse than now.  Economically, the poor which were most of the people, were struggling to get enough to eat.  The nation was in tension with some of God’s people adopting Roman ways and traditions while others were holding on to the ways of Israel.  The result was tension.  It was not a good time to be a woman who could be taken captive by Romans, raped or abandoned.  
Th…

Christmas Images And Some Meanings For Us Today

What does the Christmas story really mean?

We tell it year after year after year. It is a sweet story filled with sentimental images and stories of the miraculous. We like telling because it is filled with hope. But it is more. The Christmas story is filled with images of subversion that confront each person, and each culture. It has the potential… like the song of Mary says to topple thrones and radically change the world. When we look at the birth story within its social and cultural context we notice significant images that offer greater meaning in the birth event.

Let’s look at the Setting: Matthew was written to encourage faith among Jews and validate the Messiah to Jewish hearers. It was also written to encourage faith among Gentiles and validate the church to Gentile rulers as coming out of Judaism. Connection to Jewish faith was significant because they were a legal religion in the Roman empire. Christians at the time were experiencing oppression and persecution…