Well friends, we’re all one week into the national emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. How y’all doing? I’m sure the answers are all over the board. And our answers say much about us — things like where we work, what personality type we have, where we gather our information. But most importantly, this is a great time to find out what we truly value. Testing has a way of making some things clear to us that we can’t see when life is easy, when nothing is asked of us. And what is testing but a time of being asked for things? Let’s dig in this week and see how Jesus handles this, and what it has to teach us, and let’s see why his answers let the crowds utterly amazed.
In my last post, “Feed Me,” I wrote that comments about “being fed” need a serious cultural reinterpretation. But I really don’t think “being fed” is the issue for most people, even if it feels like the issue at the time. And even if all sorts of evidence and rationale are used to make it the issue. No, I would argue that in most cases there’s something much deeper going on. Like, maybe it’s not so much a matter of whether we’re being fed, but whether we’re being served. Thin
If you’ve been around church very long, you’ve probably been asked some version of this question: "How did you come to know God?" Serving on the staff of a Christian college ministry, I often ask students to tell me their “spiritual story” of coming to know God. What I hear in response frequently begins with a timeline of church involvement — “Well, I went to the such-and-such church when I was little …” — followed by a "but then ..." “But then my parents got a divorce.” “B
It’s a “mic-dropping” statement; one that seems to trump every agenda, rationale or argument. On the surface, it might seem unassailable. You hear it most often in conversations among believers discussing their level of satisfaction with their church. If they’re content, they might say, “I go there because I get fed.” If they’re not? “I left there because I wasn’t being fed.” We owe it to ourselves to go where the “food” is plentiful if we believe that the point of church is
I recently heard a fascinating interview of a person relating their experiences on the island of Madagascar. The adventurer was wistfully recalling the quaint habits of the islanders, how exotic it is that the natives do things the same way they’ve been done for centuries. But late in the interview, she reluctantly admitted that this ages-old way of doing things, rooted in ancestor worship, is a major hindrance to development workers who are trying to address systemic issues
Three-year-olds are the undisputed world champions of stubborn resistance. Years ago on an early spring evening, our daughter Clary was playing in her room when I interrupted to say it was time to get ready for bed. She looked out her window and saw that it wasn’t yet dark outside. Then she stared at me as if she thought I was on crack and said, “No, it’s not.” I reminded her that lately, the sun had been shining a little longer every day; at this particular moment, it was fi