You can’t miss the headlines. It’s on cable news 24/7. The Corona Virus pandemic has changed the world. No one really seems to know how long it will last, or how devastating it will be. Thousands of deaths have already occurred, and disastrous economic consequences are beginning to be felt. Just when people need to pull together to address the many complicated problems caused by the outbreak, political rivalries, bureaucratic complexities, and racial tensions hinder the effort. It’s time for us Christians to step up.
Weddings are wonderful times of celebration that promise future blessings and happiness. Everything needs to be just right, and if something major goes wrong, it can be heartbreaking for the families involved. According to John 2:1-11, Jesus attended such a wedding in Cana of Galilee. He did a miracle there that prevented a disaster, but we’re missing the point if we leave it at that. We can learn a lot about prayer from this passage.
In Matthew 16:13-28 Peter receives the blessing of Jesus when he correctly acknowledges Jesus’ messianic identity. Astonishingly, Peter then rebukes Jesus for speaking of going to the cross. How quickly Peter turns from hero to villain, from Jesus’ friend to his enemy! How quickly we will do the same if we depend on our own understanding rather than God’s revelation!
TSO’s song “Old City Bar” speaks to a common problem—making Christmas last throughout the year. Understanding Epiphany as the reality of Christ’s presence with us is key to our ongoing experience of the joy of Christ’s Advent.
The song “Mary, did you know” has become quite controversial. But the real question during this Advent season is not what Mary knew but what we know about Mary. As a protestant evangelical I’m aware that some in my circles are suspicious of any focus on Mary. After all, the Gospels are about Jesus, and there is relatively little about Mary in them, and even less about her in the rest of the New Testament. Christian reflection on Mary has produced a detailed Mariology, viewed at times by protestants as mariolatry. In any event, the gospel story of Jesus begins with Mary, so we turn to her in this post in the hope that we can shed some light and turn down the heat.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Mark, mainly because I just contributed a post on Mark for Credo magazine. After writing the post, it occurred to me that what I was seeing in Mark is a huge reason for thanksgiving. As you may have guessed, Mark has nothing to say about turkey and all the trimmings. In fact, although Mark directly mentions giving thanks only a few times, his story of Jesus gives us a profound reason for thanksgiving. In the USA the Thanksgiving holiday is November 28 this year, but Mark’s message gives us something to be thankful for every day of the year. God does not give up on flawed followers of Jesus, and neither should we.