Month: March 2020

Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a pandemic. And the thing about a pandemic—just like any other disaster or emergency—is that it peels back the layers of society and shows us what lies underneath. And one of the things that lies underneath—one of the things that we get to see in the midst of this pandemic—is incredible compassion. People are stepping up in amazing ways. Just in our own church community: we have had people offer to pick up groceries for folks who were exiling themselves for the good of the realm… text…
Last week, we heard Jesus tell the disciples what was going to happen… again. He told them how they were on their way to Jerusalem, the capital of their dispossessed people and their occupied land. He told them that he would be handed over to the Jewish authorities, who would condemn him to death. He told them that those authorities, in turn, would hand him over to the Roman authorities, who would mock him… and spit on him… and flog him… and kill him. And he told them that on the third day, he would rise again. This week,…
Jesus keeps telling the disciples what’s going to happen. The first time he told them, he told them that he would be rejected by the Jewish authorities and killed. And, after three days, he would rise again. And Peter didn’t think that sounded very messianic. And Jesus told him that he was setting his mind on human things and not on divine things. And then he called the disciples together and told them that if they wanted to follow him, then they had to pick up their crosses and follow him. The second time he told them, he told them that…
More than one person has explained the gospel to me like this: If you want to gain eternal life and avoid eternal torment, you must obey all of the commandments in the Torah. There are a lot of them. Rabbis have counted them. And while there is some disagreement, the standard model of things-you-must-do-to-gain-eternal-life-and-avoid-eternal-punishment includes following 613 commandments straight from the mouth of God. And no one could possibly keep all of them. You certainly couldn’t. You don’t even try. You eat bacon cheeseburgers. You think lustful thoughts. You don’t keep the sabbath. All of us have broken the…

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