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Showing posts from March, 2019

Jesus' Invitation

This week I was watching a particular politician on television. This politician was interacting with a group of reporters and answering their questions. Contrary to my usual response to politicians these days, I was deeply impressed. I was struck by this politician’s ability to think on his feet, his wide-ranging grasp of numerous issues facing our country, and this politician’s ability to articulate positions in a way that was at the same time captivating and compassionate. As I have been meditating on our Gospel passage for today, I have been struck by how much Jesus is like that politician. In fact, we never see Jesus giving a rehearsed speech in the Gospels. Rather, he answers the questions of his listeners and tells stories off the cuff that are both captivating and compassionate in their outlook. One thing that is different about Jesus, however, is that unlike the politicians of our time who are dealing with temporal issues, the topics that Jesus deals with have eternal im

Jesus' Character Traits

When you think of the character traits of Jesus, what word or words come to mind? Two words describing Jesus’ character came to me as I read our Gospel lesson for today. See what words come to your mind as I read from Luke 13:31-35… At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”  He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.  Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when   you say, ‘Blessed is the one who c

How to Handle Temptation

Have you heard of the woman who came home one day with an extremely expensive dress? Upon learning how much the garment cost, the woman’s husband went ballistic. “Honey, what were you thinking?!” he asked, “You know we can’t afford that!”  The wife replied, “I know. I didn’t plan to buy the thing; it’s just that the Devil made me do it.” “The Devil?” her husband protested.  “That’s right,” the woman said. “I was trying on clothes in that store and the devil said to me, ‘My dear, I’ve never seen you look more gorgeous than you do in that dress.’”  “Well then,” said her husband, “Why didn’t you say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’?”  The wife replied, “I did, but then Devil said, ‘Wow, Marilyn, it looks great from behind too!’” [1] I do believe temptation is a real phenomenon, and it is something we all have to learn how to handle. Jesus shows us how in Luke 4:1-13. Listen for God’s word to you… Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was

Three Degrees of Glory

Mark Batterson writes, Paul likens us to shining stars, and the word shine means to reflect. The scientific term is albedo. It’s a measurement of how much sunlight a celestial body reflects. The planet Venus, for example, has the highest albedo at .65. In other words, 65 percent of the light that hits Venus is reflected. Depending on where it’s at in its orbit, the almost-a-planet Pluto has an albedo ranging from .49 to .66. Our night-light, the moon, has an albedo of .07. Only seven percent of sunlight is reflected, yet it lights our way on cloudless nights.  In a similar sense, each of us has a spiritual albedo. The goal? One hundred percent reflectivity. We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord. You cannot produce light. You can only reflect it. [1] That is what our Gospel reading is all about on this Transfiguration Sunday. It’s all about glory. Listen for God’s