Morning Musing: Mark 11:27-30

“They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked him, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Hypocrisy is something we see all too often today. Especially in our politics. It’s enough to make people cynical. Supporters of one candidate or another are willing to excuse even the most egregious behavior when their side does it, but rail long and loud about the character flaws of the other side when the fault is discovered on the other side of the line. A prominent Democrat politician recently referred to people with a mental handicap as “retarded.” A major media outlet merely tweeted a gentle chiding that he had used an “outmoded” word and that was the end of the issue. Let there be no doubt that if a prominent Republican politician had done the same thing there would have been immediate calls for his resignation from the same media outlet because of his obvious inability to care about the people he serves. At the same time, the position of evangelical Christians on whether or not sexual misdeeds should disqualify someone from public office did a complete 180 degree shift when they needed to justify their support for Trump’s presidency from where it had been during Clinton’s tenure. As disgusting as this rank duplicity is, there is nothing new under the sun. It met Jesus as soon as he walked into the temple. Let’s talk about how He dealt with it.

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Stepping into the Current

Have you ever had that sense that something big was coming; that God was preparing you to do or experience something incredible? As summer comes and a whole variety of experiences come with it, you just may have that sense in your own life. Here are some thoughts on how to respond to it so you can experience the full wonder of God’s plans unfolding in and through your life.

Stepping into the Current

A great many adventure movies all have one thing in common. They all involve a search for a MacGuffin. Now, if you’re an action movie fan, you might be wondering exactly which movies I’m talking about and whether you’ve missed something called a MacGuffin in all of them. Well, a MacGuffin isn’t a real thing. Rather, it’s a lot of different things depending on the plot. A MacGuffin is a plot device in a story that in the context of the story itself is of vital importance, but in the real world is meaningless. For instance, one of the most famous MacGuffins in film history is the little droid R2-D2. In the original Star Wars movie, R2-D2 represents the thing the characters need to find in order to achieve their goal. Specifically, it has the plans to the Death Star (loaded onto it thanks to the efforts of the Rogue One crew as we learned a few years ago), the Rebels need to destroy the planet-killing star base. BB-8 fulfilled this role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Morning Musing: Mark 11:15-16

“They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I was listening to a counselor one time talk about how important it is to be engaged as a husband and father. He said that his wife and kids were having a heated argument one day. They were yelling and slamming things around. He walked into the kitchen where it was all happening and slammed a cabinet door good and hard. Everyone jumped and looked at him in shock. He said quietly, “I just wanted to feel like I was part of the fun.” He sent them the message that he was there with them even in their hard times. He made a scene, but for a purpose. When Jesus walked into the temple the morning after His grand arrival into the city, He made a scene for a purpose as well. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 11:9-10

“Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love magic. I’m not any good at it, but I love watching it. Fool Us with Penn and Teller is one of the shows I make sure to catch every time it’s on. One of my favorite kinds of tricks are the ones when the magician seems to have lost control of the trick, but reveals at the end that he was totally in control of things the entire time. Similarly, I love tricks where the magician leaves you feeling like you know how he did the trick only to do something a few moments later that you can’t even imagine how he could have done it. Those tricks give the audience a brief feeling of having an edge on the magician. But the truth is things were always going exactly how he planned for them to go. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem for what would be the final time, there were points along the way when it seemed like things were flying out of control. The final act, though, revealed that He had things perfectly in hand the whole time. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:46-48

“They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many wanted him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, ‘Have mercy on me, Son of David!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever really wanted something? What was it? What did you do about it? Did you eventually get it? What did you have to sacrifice for it? We all have things we want. Sometimes we want them badly; badly enough that we are willing to do the work and make the sacrifices necessary to get them. For a man named Bartimaeus, he wanted something more than he’d ever wanted anything before in his life. Fortunately for him, he was in the right place, went to the right person, and wouldn’t stop clamoring until he got it.

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