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.

Continue reading “Morning Musing: 1 John 3:11”

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.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Philippians 2:4

“Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In a famous children’s story whose original form and meaning makes absolutely no sense in our modern culture, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys lived their lives in the blissful world of Neverland where they had an endless stream of adventures uniquely suited to tickle the fancies of young boys which worked out just fine because they never grew up. In Neverland you remained locked in childhood forever. The whole thing is made to sound terribly fun and romantic; something that everyone should want for themselves. By the time you reach the end of the story, though, you are left with the sense that in spite of Peter’s seemingly unending bliss, there is something he’s missing out on that would be an even grander adventure than he’s known before: growing up. In the culture of its day, the story was a reminder that while childhood is a wonderful time, it was not only necessary but good to grow up and experience the wonders of the world waiting on us there. Somewhere along the way, though, that final moral was lost from the story, and we embraced the supposed virtue of youth with gusto and have made living in a perpetual state of adolescence a goal worth achieving. I say all of that to make sense of the observation that the dream of Peter Pan is alive and well. We are living in a day when a great many of the movies being made are an attempt by filmmakers and moviegoers alike to relive their childhood adventures. Along the way, the younger members of Gen X and the older Millennials are inviting their kids into their adventures. I got to experience a taste of this last night as I watched the latest Sonic the Hedgehog movie with my boys. Let’s talk for a few minutes this morning about what I saw and heard.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Matthew 5:39-42

“But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is a famous quote about good versus evil that is often attributed to Edmund Burke, but which he almost certainly never said. It goes like this: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Whoever happened to say that, it certainly sounds good. Where there is evil in the world, we should put a stop to it. Otherwise, evil will flourish out of control. But how exactly we should go about doing that is another matter entirely. What if the ways we normally think to stop it are all wrong? Let’s talk about it.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Ephesians 1:4

“For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you remember Magic Eye books? They had a brief surge of popularity when I was growing up. Each picture looked like some kind of a random, repeating pattern of shapes and images when you just glanced at it. But if you looked at it just right, all of a sudden, there was something else there. I remember getting a book when I was little and spending hours trying to master the technique of seeing the hidden image. The standard approach is to hold the image right up to your nose and pull it away slowly while trying to look through it. When you got to just the right distance, your eyes would begin to perceive the depth of the 3D image hiding beneath the pattern. I finally figured out my own technique which is to cross my eyes and then slowly uncross them. What got me thinking about Magic Eye images this morning is what Paul wrote here in his opening comments in his letter to the Ephesian church. Most folks who look at it see one thing, but as I was spending some time with it recently, I saw in it something just a bit deeper. Let me share with you what I saw.

Read the rest…