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Showing posts from July, 2019

Will the Real Lamppost Please Stand Up

An Instagram post from a friend put me over the edge. In his post, my friend said that someone told him the lamppost pictured above, in Green Park, London, was THE lamppost that inspired C. S. Lewis to put a lamppost in his Narnia stories, beginning with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The reason this claim pushed me over the edge is because I have heard it so many times before... On a research trip to Belfast, I was told by one of the staff at Campbell College, where Lewis attended school for one semester, that the lamppost pictured below, on the grounds of the college, was THE lamppost that inspired the one in Narnia. Then on that same trip in 2015, when a friend and I arrived in Great Malvern, England (another town where Lewis went to school) we read that the lamppost pictured below was THE lamppost that inspired Lewis... By the way, if you are looking for THE lamppost in Great Malvern, it is just outside a side door to the Priory. T

Teach Us To Pray

What is prayer to you? Is it a lifeline, or merely a dull routine? At its most basic level, prayer is communication. It is communication between human beings and God. And some say, prayer is even two-way communication … that through prayer, God also speaks to us. I wonder… if you could meet with the world’s foremost expert on prayer, and have him teach you everything he knows about it, would you do it? That is the opportunity we have today. We have the opportunity to learn from Jesus all about prayer.  Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 11:1-4… He [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”  He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father,   hallowed be your name.      Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins,         for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.      And do not bring us to the time of trial.”

How to be Mary in a Martha World

Among Eastern European Jews in the early 1900s, the world of sacred and scholarly learning belonged only to men. In the movie  Yentl , a young, unmarried woman, played by Barbara Streisand, has such an insatiable appetite for learning and sacred wisdom that she leaves home, changes her name, masquerades as an older boy, and gets accepted into a Talmudic academy. In a scene early in the movie, over a game of chess, Yentl tells her father she envies students of the Talmud. They discuss life and the mysteries of the universe while, Yentl says, “I’m learning to tell a herring from a carp!” Yentl’s father tells her that men and women have different obligations “and don’t ask why,” but he finally gives in to Yentl’s requests for another study session. Yentl is happy as she gets a large book from a well-stocked bookshelf. The father tells her to close the shutters. As she’s doing this she asks, “If you don’t have to hide studying from God, then why from the neighbors?” “W

Asking the Right Question

A priest, a minister and a rabbi are playing golf.  They’re discussing how to distribute the donations they’ve received for the week. The priest suggests: “Let’s draw a big circle on the green, we throw all the money up in the air, whatever lands inside the circle, we give to God.” The minister says, “No. We draw a big circle on the green, we throw the money up in the air, whatever lands   outside   the circle, we give to God.” The rabbi says, “No, no, no. We throw all the money in the air, whatever God wants, he keeps.” I share that story with you as an opener because Jesus’ story from the Gospel of Luke this morning also has three main characters in it. But Jesus’ story isn’t funny at all, so I thought I’d give you a laugh before we get down to business… Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 10:25-37… Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.  “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you rea