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Showing posts from February, 2021

Open Heart, Open Home

One of my favorite things on the Internet is Google Earth which is now tied into Google Maps. I love being able to zoom in, via satellite from outer space, on a country, then a particular city, and even further, down to a single street, and finally focus on a single house. I have enjoyed looking at satellite images of places where I have lived, and other places I have visited, during my 57+ years on planet earth.   The three letters of John have this same “zooming in” effect. The First Letter of John, which we finished studying in January, could, in many ways, have been addressed to any church in the first century. Perhaps that is why the Church at large has found, out of the three letters of John, the greatest relevance in this first letter, not only in the first century, but down to the twenty-first century.   However, in his second letter, John is clearly writing to a particular church, “the elect lady”. We don’t know for certain where that particular church was, presumably in Asia

The Touchstone

Last Sunday we began this sermon series I am calling “Little Lost Letters”. We looked at the first part of the Second Letter of John.   With the advent of email, letter writing as a whole has become a lost art. Back when I was just starting to use email, in 1996, I corresponded with a man by the name of Sheldon Vanauken, who, along with C. S. Lewis, is one of my favorite authors. Van, as he was known to friends, made a commitment, early on in his writing career, that he would write back to every fan who wrote to him. That is how our correspondence began, I wrote to him as a fan, and he wrote back, not by email, but with handwritten letters. Do you remember those?    Over the course of several months, we exchanged about seventeen letters.  The correspondence came to an end, sadly, because Van died in October of 1996 at the age of 82. Now, because I was just one of hundreds of people that Van was corresponding with, every now and then he would write me a postcard instead of a more formal

Vital Signs

Two weeks ago, we completed our study of the First Letter of John. When we began this study last summer, a lifelong church member said to me, “I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon series on 1 John.” If that is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then it is probably quite likely that this same person, and perhaps many of you, have never heard a sermon series on 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. That’s why I am calling this series, “Little Lost Letters”.   Many years ago, a doting groom penned a love letter to his bride. Stationed at a California military base thousands of miles away from his wife, James Bracy’s link to the lovely woman waiting for him to come home were their love letters. But this letter didn’t get delivered. Somehow it was lost, lodged between two walls in Fort Ord’s mailroom in San Francisco. The letter was lost in the shadows, with its romantic affections of a youthful marriage, sealed with a kiss. A half century later, James and Sallie Bracy had just finished celebr