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Showing posts from November, 2008

Nicodemus type Faith

I wonder what it would have been like to live in that day of Christ's coming. I wonder if I would have been able to recognize the coming of the Messiah.

I read through the Psalms and I read of God as this majestic one who comes thundering down from the mountain top (Psalm 64) and I wonder if I would have been able to recognize the thunder of His small presence in a manger or his roaring presence among the forsaken and lost sheep. I wonder if I would have recognized the man that went tearing through the temple or touching the lepers and speaking to the prostitutes as God's son.

Would I have recognized him? Or would he have appeared so foreign to what I would have imagined him to be that I would have missed him? Would I have been a cautious spectator, unwilling to jump in with all of my being like the uninformed and theologically untrained nonreligious? Or would he have appeared so obviously to me as the one to come that I would be inviting all of my neighbors to join me in follow…

The Bride of Christ

What does it mean to wait for the return of Christ?

Each day that I go to visit my fiance at his house, I look more and more forward to the day when I will be able to stay and not have to return to my own home. I wonder if that is how it is supposed to be in our relationship with Christ. Each time I meet with Him in prayer and devotion, my longing to be with Christ in our shared eternal home should increase. Each visit into His presence gives me a better taste of what it might be like when we can commune continually.

When I look forward to marriage, I look forward to being able to just be present in each other's world. I look forward to being able to share meals with each other on a consistent basis. I look forward to sitting at my computer, doing my school work, and then taking a break to have a short chat with my loved one.

How is it that our daily life with Jesus can be like this today? How do we recognize God's presence already in the normal everyday actions of life? Do we al…

Late to Bethlehem

"She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)

Is there more to this story? Why wasn't there any room for them in the inn? Did they arrive late to Bethlehem or not arrive early enough to find a place to stay? And if they arrived late, or not early enough, why?

Did Joseph not plan ahead? Did he not consider the fact that his ancestral home would be overflowing with people looking for a place to lay their head? Or did they leave early, but Mary's morning sickness delayed their travels and made the trip take much longer than expected? Did they meet unexpected delays in their journey? Were these delays both the devil's attempts to stop them from arriving in Bethlehem and God's perfect plan for having His son born in a manger? Or were they still struggling with family conflict, Joseph's brothers giving him a hard time about including Mary and her child as his own in the census and Mary's moth…

What does it mean to be a child of God living in the present?

I don't think I'm going to answer the above mentioned question. Instead, I have another question to ask, What does it mean to be a child of God living in the end times? What I mean is, how does the context of thinking the end is near influence how one lives as God's child?

Yes, we do not know the day or hour, or even the year of the Lord's return, but we do know that it is approaching quickly and more quickly then it was approaching an hour, day, or year ago. Throughout Scripture Paul talks of the approaching end of days and instructs us on how we are to live. The writer of Hebrews tells us "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)

Yes, I recognize that the capitalization of the word "day" is the work of the collection of editors, but that doesn't change my question. If each day and each hour we are closer to the retur…

Need proof?

Jesus did not seem to have a need to prove himself to anyone. Whether it was in his judicial trial before his Crucifixion or in his temptation trial in the wilderness before his ministry, he never succumbed to pressures asking him to assert his authority or identity. He knew who he was and he didn't have to prove his identity to anyone.

Even when performing miracles or teaching profound truths, Jesus acted, spoke, and lived out of compassion and truth and not out of pride or self-doubt. In fact, it seems that he avoided doing miracles when demanded as a means of proof, but rather leaned upon the faith of those in need. He healed in response to faith, not testing. He taught in parables so that those who were ready to hear would hear and those who weren't would not.

Perhaps the fact that Jesus did not prove his identity on demand is proof that this inclination of humans to provethemselves is a sin. Because Jesus did not sin, he could not question his own identity and thus he had n…

Really Party?!

"The fiestas of the poor are truly celebrations: the poor have a reason to celebrate. Hence their celebrations are joyful, free, and spontaneous, whereas the celebrations of the rich tend to be more of a tedious chore than a spontaneous joy. They appear to be having a good time while inwardly they are worrying about wearing the right outfit, saying the right things, doing the right things, mixing with the right persons, and impressing everyone aroudn withthe multiple masks that everyone puts on to impress the others. In effect, the celebrations of the 'dignitaries' of this world are anything but joyful. How could they be joyful when they are segregated and segregating, and potentially destructive of all who take part in them?

Thus it is out of the celebrations of the poor, which will always be a scandal to the rich who are not capable of truly liberative celebrations, that God's universal and barrier-destroying love will erupt for all to experience and enjoy. Part…

Oppression

"God chooses an oppressed people, not to bring them comfort in their oppression, but to enable them to confront, transcend, and transform whatever in the oppressor society diminishes and destroys the fundamental dignity of human nature." - Virgilio Elizondo in "Galilean Journey: The Mexican-American Promise" (page 103)

any thoughts?

Culture Push Back

Can we hear what culture is saying when it pushes back on us?


(And here I mean "us" as any "group" with which you the reader identify.)

"Definition of Faith"

I absolutely love studying church history, because I learn a lot about the traditions that have been passed onto us and themes of theological agreement. It seems that no matter how much an argument has taken place through time or how corrupt that argument has been, there are some consistent decisions that seem to emerge. I think this tells us something.

Today I read this section of the "Definition of Faith" that was published as a result of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. It reads:

Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all with one voice teach that it is
to be confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same God, perfect in
divinity, and perfect in humanity, true God and true human, with a rational soul
and a body, of one substance with the Father in his divinity, and of one
substance with us in his humanity, in every way like us, with the only exception
of sin, begotten of the Father before all time in his divinity, and also
begotten in the latter days, in his humanity, o…

Marriage Proposal!

Throughout my life I have heard many engagement stories which has caused me to wonder what mine would be like. Our engagement story is incredible! It testifies to what an amazing man God has brought into my life.

Last week, my now fiance closed on his house. In order to celebrate we decided to pray a blessing over it. As we pulled into the driveway, we discovered that some unknown person had both mowed the yard and done some significant yard work! What a great surprise!

We then walked into the house and tested out the electricity, which had just been turned on. We met back up in the living room to pray. My now fiance suggested that we kneel in prayer. So we knelt side-by-side. He then said that he wanted to make sure that I had the right perspective when we prayed. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring and asked "May we pray for OUR house?" We then walked together through each room inviting God's blessing on it and our lives.

Isn't that beautiful? M…