Weekly Word

Immediately they left their nets and followed Jesus - Matthew 4:20

Everyone can be a disciple. Not everyone will. The first people Jesus called “left everything.” I put myself in their sandals and say, “I can’t follow Jesus today, because (fill in the blank).

For: 
January 26, 2020
Matthew 4:12-23
Epiphany 3
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" - John the Baptist to his disciples about Jesus

If we read the Gospels, I think we see what John the Baptist saw. We know that maybe we should follow that Jesus. Maybe we should become his disciples. That leads us to the question, “Who can be a disciple of Jesus?”

For: 
January 19, 2020
John 1:29-42
Epiphany 3
"Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him." - Matthew 3:13

When Jesus enters into Jerusalem, he is baptized again. This time by his suffering on the cross. He descends into hell and sets loose those who were held captive. Then on Easter he exits by way of the resurrection. This is our road map.

For: 
January 12, 2020
Matthew 3:13-17
Epiphany 1
Baptism of our Lord
Jesus says, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me..."

Jesus speaks of doing particular things; feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, befriending the stranger, clothing those exposed to weather or social cruelty, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned. Our opportunities to be Christ-like will come in the form of specific people with individual needs.

For: 
January 5, 2020
Matthew 25:31-46
New Year

When we do Christmas, it is very tempting to skip the story of King Herod's murdering the children of the Bethlehem region. I remember one adroit fool suggesting that we could skip Matthew 2:13-23 in our Sunday lections because the event discribed doesn't appear in the secular histories of the time and could have been made up by Matthew. The only secular histories we have from this period are pro-Roman and okay with Herod's "lock innocents in cages" type of politics.

For: 
December 29, 2019
Matthew 2:13-23
Christmastide 1
"Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly." - Matthew 1:9

We, like Joseph, tend to consider the opinions of our neighbors higher than our faith when we are faced with a moral choice. We criticize unwed teens, but do little to make our highschools better enviroments for relational growth. Further, the church does little to transform those neighborhoods where a normal and safe childhood is an impossibility.

For: 
December 22, 2019
Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 18:9
Advent 4
"My soul magnifies the Lord..." - Mary the mother of Jesus

The wealthy pass themselves lavish tax breaks and the 1% deny the the majority a reasonable wage, affordable healthcare, or a decent retirement package. As much as things change, they remain the same.

For: 
December 15, 2019
Luke 1:26-38
Luke 2:1-14
Advent 3
Mary's Sunday
He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear... - Isaiah 11:3

It is possible for a roll of film to go a decade or two without being developed. During that time, the images are invisible. Any attempt to see what is on the film results in erasing the image. Only by carefully processing the film is the photographer’s art brought to light. Often things are hidden away until it is the right time for them to be revealed. A baby is hidden in womb until it is born...

For: 
December 8, 2019
Isaiah 11:1-10
Matthew 3:1-12
Advent 2
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation...

I don’t know how to get others to the mountain. I only know that it is where I need to be. “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!” (Isaiah 2:5).

For: 
December 1, 2019
Isaiah 2:1-5
Advent 1
"If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
Jesus has a different definition of leadership. It is for him to work with others so that together good things happen. He has commitment to service. He can be the king of love without a crown of gold. Even his thorns and painful death remind us that life is not about the people we lord over but the humility we live under.
For: 
November 24, 2019
Luke 23:33-43
Pentecost 29

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