Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 2:14-15

“Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Death has always been the great equalizer. Everyone dies eventually, should our Lord tarry. It doesn’t matter how wealthy or poor you happen to be. No amount of privilege or bad luck will impact this ultimate outcome. People of great resources have occasionally tried to put it off for as long as they can, but their efforts always prove futile in the end, all the resources put toward that end wasted. And although some have tried to make all of this sound poetic and beautiful, for most people it has been and remains terrifying. Jesus broke that fear. Let’s talk about how.

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Morning Musing: Mark 15:47; 16:2-4

“Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were watching where he was laid. . .Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. They were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?’ Looking up, they noticed that the stone – which was very large – had been rolled away.” (CSB – Read chapter 15 here, and 16 here)

Have you ever mourned a missed opportunity? You had the chance to do something, but didn’t take it. And then it was gone. There was nothing you could do about it. It was too late. You simply missed it. As Jesus’ body was laid in His tomb, His followers all thought that He had missed an opportunity and them with Him. He had missed an opportunity to do an even greater good with His life. But now He was dead, and the opportunity was gone. If only they knew…

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Morning Musing: Mark 14:22-24

“As they were eating, he took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What is the Lord’s Supper? Or, depending on your tradition, what is the Eucharist? The answers to those questions are perhaps wider ranging than you might expect. Not concerning ourselves with theological distinctions for the moment, the Lord’s Supper is one of the two most significant Christian acts of worship there is. The other is baptism, but that is a discussion for another time. Followers of Jesus have been observing the Lord’s Supper (or, again, depending on your tradition, celebrating the Eucharist or Holy Communion) since the very beginning of the church’s history. A church that doesn’t observe this tradition in some form or fashion can openly be questioned as to whether they are a church at all. Yet what is it? Well, a full answer to that question is well beyond the scope of this brief reflection, but as we come to the most foundational passage on the matter, let’s reflect for just a minute on what is the most important thing to remember about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 9:9-10

“As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this word to themselves questioning what ‘rising from the dead’ meant.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Has anyone ever entrusted you with a secret? That’s always a powerful feeling. You know something that most of the people around you do not know. You have an up on them. Whatever else happens, you’re starting things with the playing field tilted just a bit in your direction. At least, that works if you understand what the secret means. Has someone ever asked you to keep a secret, but you didn’t have any idea what it meant? That’s the position Jesus put the disciples in as they were coming down from their mountaintop experience with Him. Let’s talk about what that means for us.

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Keep at It

This past Sunday we continued in our series, Being Useful. We’ve so far talked about faith and virtue and knowledge and self-control. Those are all great things, but living in a constant pursuit of those can eventually become exhausting. If we’re going to manage that tall order, there’s something else we’re going to need. Fortunately, this next thing is the next item on Peter’s list. Keep reading to find out what it is.

Keep at It

Have you ever wanted to give up?  You pick the reason.  Have you ever been at a point where you were seriously considering throwing up your hands and walking away from something?  I think we all hit those places at one time or another in life.  It could have been something as insignificant as a game.  One of the lessons we are slowly teaching our boys is that you can’t quit just because you’re losing.  Any other parents have to fight that particular battle before?  Perhaps, though, your encounter with this particular wall was somewhat more significant.  Maybe it was a class in school?  It could have been a job when you didn’t already have another one lined up.  Perhaps it was even a relationship. 

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