Morning Musing: Mark 10:18-20

“‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus asked him. ‘No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever gotten exactly what you wanted, but felt like there was still something missing? I remember saving my money when I was little to buy a Super Nintendo. My folks wisely didn’t give me any help with it. I saved and saved for months. Then the day finally came. My mom took me to GameStop and I made the big purchase. A brand new Super Nintendo and one game. I played through the game quickly over the next couple of weeks…and that was it. Then it just felt kind of empty. Now what? One of the things we see in the story of the man asking Jesus about eternal life is that sometimes this kind of let down can happen on a much larger scale.

REad the rest…

Morning Musing: Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Who is your enemy? Now maybe you’re saintly enough that your response to that question is some version of, “I don’t have any enemies.” Granting that, who comes closest to that status for you? If you’re at all like a growing segment of our society, the answer just may be the people on the other side of the political aisle. In our hyper-partisan times, political rivals are among the most bitter enemies we have. The latest entry from Marvel Studios offers an important counterpoint to this decidedly unhealthy trend. Let’s talk today about Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Mark 10:10-12

“When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery against him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes truth is hard. That’s something our culture today doesn’t much like to acknowledge. We want truth to be whatever we make of it. That’s certainly a more convenient approach. If we run up against a particular wall of reality that doesn’t fit with the narrative we are currently crafting for our lives, we simply turn in another direction, declaring that “our truth” means we can ignore that wall and keep doing what we want. Yet truth simply is. When Jesus was asked about marriage by some Pharisees looking for a bit of wiggle room to keep living how they pleased, He responded with truth. When the disciples later asked Him about it again, He stuck to His guns. What He had to say wasn’t comfortable; in fact, it was hard. Let’s talk about it just a bit more this morning.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Mark 10:5-9

“But Jesus told them, ‘He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In many of the weddings I’ve done and attended over the years, a common feature of the ceremony was some sort of a symbolic unity ritual. Most often it has been a candle. Two candles are lit at the beginning of the service and during the affair, the bride and groom take up their candle and use them to simultaneously light a third. Sometimes it has been a sand ceremony. Here, two different colors of sand are poured from their respective vessels into a third resulting in a mixing of colors. One time the couple weaved a braid together into a cord of three strands. The point of these exercises is to signify the permanence of the relationship being formed. Why is this kind of thing included in so many wedding ceremonies, and how should we think about this in a day when divorce is common and marriage rates are falling? Let’s turn today and tomorrow to some words from Jesus that speak right to the heart of this issue and see what kind of clarity He brings to the matter for us.

Read the rest…