In case you were wondering why there's been no post here in a couple of weeks its because we're moving. We've taken on an adventure heading west this week about 2 hours further into the Prairie. I've been on vacation from church this week. The new call starts on Saturday.
you can keep up with the details at unlikelybanter.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Jesus cleansing the temple has been a favorite story for me. As a preacher it rings out with the true character of God's only begotten son. He's no wimp, no gutless man who has no standards or identity. Quite the opposite Jesus in this story is strong and pays no respect to men; but gives all respect to God.
In my first call at Gol in Kenyon back in the 1990's a confirmation student and I had a great conversation based on the stories of Jesus' zeal displayed in his cleansing of God's house. He'd been taught that Jesus is always loving, which he is. But we've unfortunately confused God's always loving nature with God's acceptance of our misdeeds and misbehavior. Jesus cleansing the temple proved 2 things clearly.
- Jesus, God's son, is always loving. Above all others in the universe Jesus loved God. He loved God the Father so much that he couldn't watch for in his day as the temple was disrespected used not for prayer but as a market place.
- Jesus Zeal would put him on a crash course with any who stood in the temple, or before God, claiming a special place of prominence.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Faith came first:
Before receiving the land and child they were promised Abram and Sarai had faith. They had faith that God was moving with them into the world. They had faith that the family and land they were promised would come into their lives. God had given them a promise and on faith they left Ur heading west across the desert to a land where they'd never been before.
The story wasn't so simple as hearing a promise and recieving a blessing in the next moment. Abram and Sarai left Ur of the Chaldeans as an aging couple. They finally arrived in the promised land but they still had no child and no immediate descendants. They looked to find others to replace the promised heir. They looked to a servant, and a nephew but that wasn't God's plan. Abram had an affair with Hagar and she gave birth to a child called Ishmael; but God had other plans.
A New Identity:
Abram and Sarah received new names from God, Abraham and Sarai, when he was 99 years old. Paul in Roman's said that Abraham was good as dead; and in that state Abraham still had faith. They'd been called years before to move to a new place and in faith they went forward. They hadn't seen all of God's promises fulfilled; but they moved on faith and trusted in God to provide.
Believers in Christ Jesus have new identities through faith: when the old Adam dies something new rises in its place. Our walk of faith isn't (except in a few notable cases) complete in an instant. That means God is working on and shaping our new identities for years. The story today, of God's work in us and our world, isn't a story that's done. Truth is God isn't finished in a moment with us; rather my story and the story of all believers is a story that God is still working out in history.
If you're a Christians there is something new in your life: your identity is chaning. God will make you and all things new. Heaven and earth will pass away and a new heaven and a new earth will come in its place. Thanks be do God.