Morning Musing: 1 John 3:11

“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another,”
(CSB – Read the chapter)

Today, I want to do something a little different. I am not going to analyze or invest very much time in unpacking this verse. I’m not going to review anything. Hopefully I’ll get to see the new Black Panther soon and will review that. Instead, I want to tell you about something I saw this past week that struck me as profound and worth sharing. I was treated to an example of love in action in a way I didn’t expect and haven’t seen very often. This is something a lot of people don’t even think really exists nowadays. I want to tell you that it does and that I saw it.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:1-3

“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

At last we come to the big finish. After twelve chapters and seven months, we are at long last on the final stretch of this incredible letter. With all of his main points now made rather thoroughly, the author closes things out with a kind of lightning round of miscellaneous advice and commands. There really isn’t a consistent theme to any of these, but there is deep wisdom in them all the same. He starts here with the rather appropriate exhortation to love, given how rooted in love is the new covenant. Let’s talk this morning about love in action.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This past Sunday we wrapped up our teaching series, What Jesus Hated, by switching things up. Instead of talking about something else Jesus doesn’t like, we focused our attention on something Jesus loved. Through a look at one of Jesus’ best-known parables, we looked at love in action and talked about why getting that right matters so much for us. Thanks for tuning in with me this week.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I’m going to ask you a question to get things started this morning. When I do, I want you to shout out the first name that comes to mind when you hear it. Ready? Won’t you be my neighbor? Now, if you’re at all like me, there are two possible names that rushed to the front of your mind, and one of them is a whole lot likelier than the other. The second one of those names is Daniel Tiger from the PBS cartoon series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. My kids, but especially Micah, used to watch Daniel Tiger all the time. Secretly, I loved it. Besides its being a fantastic show, the songs they included in each episode to teach some basic moral lessons to kids were like gold. We used them with our kids all the time. You probably only thought about Daniel Tiger, though, if you have had preschoolers any time in the last ten years or so. More likely, the name that came to mind first—as you shared out loud like I asked—was Mr. Rogers. 

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Loving the Hurting

This week as we continued our series, How to Be Faithful When No One Else Is, we are turning with Daniel’s story in a direction that may be unexpected. When we imagine ourselves standing in faithfulness as the world around us turns away from such a path, we are often tempted to think in very much cultural terms. We imagine ourselves as warriors battling back the forces of evil. Yet being faithful after the way of Jesus looks very different from this. Let’s talk about how and why as we look at another story about a king and a dream.

Loving the Hurting

Let’s do a quick vocabulary poll this morning. This one is definitely a fifty-cent word. How many of you have heard the word “schadenfreude”? Anyone want to throw out a definition or use it in a sentence. It’s actually a really good word to have in your back pocket. It’s probably worth quite a few points in a game of Scrabble. I don’t think I’ve ever actually played a game of Scrabble in my life, so I could be wrong, but it at least has a lot of letters. Schadenfreude, as you might have guessed, is a German word. While a more robust definition is probably available in German, in English it basically translates to taking pleasure at the misfortune of others. We live today in a world where schadenfreude is a common feeling for a lot of people. 

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Something Different

“Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than jewels.”

What do you do when you get an all-expenses-paid stay in your master bedroom with your eleven-year-old son for a week? You watch a lot of movies, for starters. The original Jurassic Park trilogy, The Santa Claus trilogy, and the first five hours of the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy so far. You work some as well. And you think. For me, I tend not to think in pictures or ideas. I think in words. And with tomorrow’s being a rather special day…for which I am in quarantine…I’ve done a fair bit of thinking in that direction. Here are a few thoughts that have come from it.

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