Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 5:1

“For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Covid doesn’t care. I don’t think I can count the number of times I have thought or said those words over the last 20 months. The reasons for them have changed a bit over time, but the sentiment is true. Early on in this unfolding chaos, people were taking every precaution they could, but one little slip of exposure could so easily prove to be devastating. And while older and immunocompromised individuals certainly faired the worst, Covid just didn’t seem to care whether you were healthy or not. Perfectly healthy people in the prime of their life got it and died, while folks who “should” have been taken without a struggle weren’t even slowed down by it. Covid just doesn’t care. Well, another person who had no business dying was lost this week. This time it was a friend.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”
— ‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-20‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I don’t usually come back to the same passage quite so soon after talking about it on a given day, but I just couldn’t think of any more relevant a word for what I am seeing happen in my little corner of the world right now than what James wrote here. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about anger and why people seem so angry all the time these days. Then, this past week, I’ve watched people be angry and stay angry and my mind went back to James’ wisdom. What are they angry about? On the surface, a bit of cloth, thread, and elastic that can’t cost more than about fifty cents. Let’s talk this morning about masks.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”‬ (‭CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Why go to church? That’s a question not a few folks have wrestled with over the years. Young people think it’s boring. Working folks think it’s irrelevant. Smart folks think it’s beneath them. Cultured folks think it’s uncouth. Others think it’s just a waste of time. So, why bother? The world was recently given a very good reason and by a Harvard researcher of all people. Let’s check this out.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:51-52

“Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been through an experience you simply didn’t understand? There are a couple of ways we respond to times like those. The first is to let the lack of understanding build within us a sense of curiosity wherein we go on some kind of a journey to gain a better grasp of what happened and why. The second response is to lean into the lack of understanding and turn ourselves away from the experience. We don’t want to try and understand it, we just want to put some distance between ourselves and it. Of these two responses, exactly which one we choose depends on a whole variety of factors. Generally, though, the more profound our lack of understanding is, the more likely we are to lean into the second. That’s what we see happening with the disciples here. Let’s dig into their reaction a bit and see what it might have to do with us.

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Digging in Deeper: Romans 14:13

“Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother of sister.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I used to wear rubber bands on my wrist. It was a phase in high school. I always had a least one and sometimes wore several. Whenever I found one sitting around somewhere I’d slip it on and wear it. The thing about rubber bands is that over time they begin to lose their elasticity when they are exposed to the rigors of life. It doesn’t happen all at once. But eventually, when you stretch them, you begin to notice that there are cracks in them. Once these start forming as long as you leave the rubber band alone, you can’t see them. If you stretch them, though, they show up. The further you stretch them, the more they show and the bigger they become. Stretch too far – and what counts as “too far” narrows over time – and eventually they snap. Our culture is like a rubber band right now. The church is too. Let’s talk this morning about how to avoid the snap.

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