Showing posts from August, 2013

Reflections on Healing in the New Testament:

What is healing?   Why do we do a “healing” liturgy on the 5 th Sunday of the month?   Are we offering “cure?”   No, God has given us the gift of medical science to help us find cures. So then what is the “healing” that our liturgy offers us from God through Christ? It is easy to mix up those two words – healing and cure.   Our culture tends to under of “healing” as “cure,” and “cure” as “healing.”   Cure and healing are interchangeable in our society.   We go to the doctor for a cure in hopes that we will be healed of whatever ails us.   We come to church and experience a liturgy of healing in hopes that this will aid in providing a cure.   But are they the same thing?   No, in the Bible they are not the same thing at all.   They may be related, but they are two separate things.   Here then is a statement that sums up the biblical view of healing and cure: First, One can be cured without experiencing healing and 2 nd , One can be healed without being cured! Le

Reflections on the text – Luke 13:10-17

Read the text here: Luke 13:10-17 Bad Guys and Good Guys – Law & Gospel Every story needs a bad guy.   Right?   Certainly if you watch much TV you know that, with the exception of comedies, most shows have some kind of bad guys – even the reality shows!   We need someone to cheer for and to cheer against.   This past week I attended a conference and the presenter at one point during his presentation started talking about bad guys and good guys using Star Wars characters as examples.   For him Darth Vader = bad; Han Solo = good.   Except, those of us who are at all familiar with the Star Wars films and franchise know that it isn’t that easy.   Darth Vader is actually not all bad, in the end he gives up his life to save his son, Luke (sorry, spoiler alert!); and Han’s popularity (not to mention Harrison Ford’s) was based on the fact that Han was actually a bad boy good guy.   Not so cut and dried at all.   Nevertheless, we are often drawn to stories

Reflections on the Epistle - Hebrews 11:29-12:2

Read the text here: Hebrews 11:29-2:2 No One Is Alone “… since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…”   Wow!   Think about it.   We are surrounded; we are supported; we are being cheered on; we are being inspired - by so great a cloud of witnesses! This statement, which appears near the end of this epistle to the Hebrews, is, for me, one of the most strengthening and encouraging lines in scripture.   A few lines later the writer uses another image – the image of a runner running a race.   When you combine these two images what the preacher is saying is this: we running the race of life, which includes all the dimensions of life including our discipleship.   This race is at times a “rat race;” at times the race leads us into the some dark places and experiences; sometimes we stumble and fall and trip over obstacles; sometimes the climb up the mountains can be really hard; but at other times it is like running downhill.   The race of life contain

Reflections on the Gospel: Luke 12:32-40

Read the text here: Luke 13:32-48 God’s Great Delight Jesus is on the way towards Jerusalem.   Beginning in chapter 9 immediately following the Transfiguration, Jesus sets his face towards Jerusalem.   But along the way Jesus, accompanied by his 12 disciples and a host of others who come and go as the journey proceeds, spends the time teaching, telling stories (parables) and answering questions.   But throughout all of this a couple themes emerge:   First, the Kingdom of God is come now, in Jesus!   We do not have to wait for the Kingdom to come down the road in some distant time and place.   The Kingdom is NOW!   As you experience Jesus, you experience the Kingdom.   Also, the Kingdom is not something we can earn, or accomplish, or forcibly establish – it is a gift of God’s.   And it is God’s delight and joy to give God’s people this gift.   So what prevents us from accepting and fully appreciating this incredible gift of God’s?   Well, lots of things: Led

Reflections on the Text – Luke 12:13-21

Read the text here: Luke 12:13-21 Rich Towards God “Money is the root of all evil!”   That is a saying we have all heard over and over again but yet how many of us find ourselves constantly in a state of anxiety and stress over money.   We are always looking for ways to increase our wealth and our possessions.   A few years ago when the housing crisis began and many folks began to default on their mortgages it became apparent that in many of these cases folks had purchased homes that were simply too big and too expensive for them, and they simply could not afford them once the supports fell away. Our Gospel today is all about money and the accumulation of wealth.   First, it is important to state that the problem, as Luke presents it, it not with money, per se.   It is not the money or the wealth or the possessions themselves that are the root of “all evil” for Luke.   It is, rather, our attitude towards them.   In fact, Luke has a unique view of wealth.   For Luke, weal