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Showing posts from June, 2012

(Re)Created to Serve and Give

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The text for today is our Epistle, 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15, which has already been read. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I often marvel at the spiritual insights of children.  One week during chapel services I was teaching the preschool children about David the Shepherd Boy as part of a series of lessons on loving our neighbor.  I showed the kids two pictures: one of David as a young boy watching over his family’s sheep, and another of David as the grown-up king of the nation of Israel.  And then I asked them, “Which one of David’s jobs was more important—shepherd or king?”  Most of them replied predictably: “King!”  But one of them stole my thunder.  “It depends upon whether or not you’re one of the sheep,” he said.  And he was exactly right.  Both jobs are important for those who are under their care and influence.  For the sheep, the shepherd is going to have much more direct impact.  He serves them.  They depend upon him fo…

Blessed Be the Lord God of Israel

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The text for today is our Gospel, Luke 1:57-80, which has already been read. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  It seems a little out of place, doesn’t it?  We’re used to hearing about John the Baptist in Advent or in Lent.  His message of repentance fits very well with those two penitential times of the church year.  But here it is…the early part of Pentecost.  So why are we hearing about his birth?  Well, do the math.  When do we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord?  December 24th and 25th.  And how far along in her pregnancy is Elizabeth when the Virgin Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel?  Six months.  So, back up six months from Christmas and you land on June 24th.  That’s why we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on this date. St. Luke, ever the historian, begins his account of John’s birth this way: “In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest name Zechariah, of th…

The Promise in the Midst of a Curse

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Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
There is something wrong, my friends!  There is something wrong with this world!  There is something wrong with this nation!  There is something wrong with your neighbor!  There is something wrong with me!  And there is something wrong with you!  That something is sin, an awful, broken condition that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve’s and their fall into sin in the Garden of Eden. 
Sin.  Not simply a “mistake” or “error.”  No, what happened with Adam and Eve was not merely “poor judgment” or “misinformation” as some may label it.  It was lawlessness.  It was rebellion.  It was outright disobedience to God’s specific command.  And their sin had enormous consequences for all of creation, a creation that God had declared “very good” upon its completion in six days. 
The sin of Adam and Eve brought misery on the entire human race, for there is no such thing as a “private sin.”  Every sin has conse…