Something happens around the table that changes those who are given a seat at the table. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he invited a rag-tag group of sinners to have a seat at the table. The table was so important that while Mark described, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost,” Luke suggested, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.”
Sometimes it takes a public disgrace to distract people from personal humiliation. It takes something more scandalous than the sin itself to draw attention away from gossip-worthy, life-altering sins.
This past year wildfires in California were some of the deadliest in recent history. Fires destroyed thousands of homes, forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate, and left many communities questioning whether or not rebuilding was even possible.
When Jesus shows up at a party, it changes the party.
“They have no more wine.” That’s what Mary said when the wedding party debacle was about to make the groom look like a joke and bring shame to his family.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” - Matthew 5:48
What are we supposed to do with that? Perfection? Really?
Forgiveness utilizes the language of debt, payments, and IOUs. It’s the relationship between creditors and debtors. We’ve overspent our accounts with every act of rebellion against God and we have a bill that needs to be paid. And just like in the financial world, many of us utilize get-out-of-debt strategies in our spiritual lives.
There’s a retired lab technician named EP, who in the book Moonwalking with Einstein, is referred to as “the most forgetful man in the world.” EP suffered from one of the most severe cases of amnesia ever documented; his memory extended back only as far as his most recent thought.
For weeks and weeks, we prepare for the big day. With anticipation, excitement, and a bit of stress—we make plans at home and at church, and hustle until it all comes together. And then in a matter of 24 crazy hours, it’s all past.
A couple weeks ago, my daughter interrupted our bedtime routine with an unusual statement, “I hope tomorrow’s not Christmas.”
The idea that we get what we deserve is an appealing way to look at the world. While some of us might not admit that we actually believe in Karma, many of us believe it without even realizing it.
Have you ever experienced a film that ended too soon? The credits roll but you wanted more. There were questions left unanswered. Issues unresolved.
We crave closure. We want neat and tidy packages. We need to know what happened.
Several months ago, I was having a conversation with my oldest son at bedtime that turned into a conversation about Jesus that I’ll never forget. Now, this is not the usual flow of our family devotions - most of the time it involves somersaults and arguing and hitting and an occasional prayer.
On Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem “gentle and riding on a donkey,” but on Monday morning, he was anything but gentle. The Monday after the triumphal entry was havoc. When Jesus showed up at the temple, his anger was boiling over. He flipped over the tables and threw out everybody who was buying and selling in the outer courts.
Things have been quiet around the blog, but not around our house. Just a few weeks ago, we welcomed Alice into the world and became a family of 5. This isn't the usual theological post, but I thought we should have some pictures of the growing family.
Sin, when we boil it down, is rooted in selfishness. Sin, in its essence, is the worship of self. It doesn’t look to the heart and desires of God; rather it seeks our own needs.