Digging in Deeper: 1 Corinthians 12:18

“But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in somewhere? Unless you just have one of those exceedingly extroverted personalities where as long as you’re around people, you’re pretty comfortable, you probably have (and even someone like that might feel out of place if they went to a conference of introverts…which I know is a bit of an oxymoron, but I’m trying here). Maybe it was your first day at a new school or a new job. It could have been a party where you weren’t really invited, but you went as some else’s guest. IT could have been the first time you walked in the door of a new church. Wherever it was, you probably know that awkward, uncomfortable, I-want-to-be-anywhere-other-than here feeling. Let me change up the question on you just a bit: Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in with your own family. Perhaps your family is really close and that’s wonderful. But it may be that you went through a season at one point during which you were just a bit – or a lot – different from everyone else in your family. That’s no easy path to walk. And still, if you’re connected to a local church, feeling out of place there can be equally as difficult. A recent animated film from Disney does a wonderful job exploring this whole idea of what it means to be a part of a family even when we don’t quite look the same as the rest of its members. This morning let’s talk about being connected and Disney’s Encanto.

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Morning Musing: James 4:10

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday we talked about one of the great paradoxes of the Christian worldview. This was Jesus’ declaration that if we want to save our lives, we must be prepared to lose them. Our conclusion then was that even though these two ideas sound contradictory, they are nonetheless both completely true. This morning we’re going to look briefly at another paradox of the faith. This one appears in various places throughout the Old and New Testaments, so there were multiple different passages we could have looked at. This one from James has a context that puts a little more fire behind the observation. Let’s talk about the greatness found in humility and a good example from a man named, Ted.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I honestly wanted to wait for the end of the season to write this post. I may write another one when it’s finally through. But I just couldn’t wait any longer to get some of my thoughts down on digital paper. A few months ago I wrote a reflection and review of the Apple TV series, Ted Lasso. That original post is here. As I rather effusively gushed then, I absolutely loved the first season. Now, no, that doesn’t mean I loved every single part of it (the language is pretty excessively bad and, if anything, is worse this season), but the whole idea and theme rang so fundamentally true with the Christian worldview, I found myself quickly forgiving the few parts that didn’t. Well, Ted Lasso is back. And in between then and now it was nominated for a record 20 Emmy’s, most of which I fully suspect will be rightfully awarded to it in a couple of weeks. The show’s sophomore season has not been without some criticism, but at least as far as I am concerned, it has been even better than the first. As we have now crossed the midpoint of the season (and, no, I haven’t watched today’s episode yet), let’s talk about why it’s so good.

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:13-15

“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The lot of children used to be difficult one. They were generally seen as a drain on a family’s resources until they were old enough and strong enough to contribute meaningfully to the household. Vaudeville-era comedian, W.C. Fields was famous for his rather sardonic quotes about children. For instance, “There’s no such thing as a tough child – if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.” Today, the place of children in some circles is so high we can scarcely imagine a world where it wasn’t. In fact, in many segments of our culture, we’ve swung the pendulum so far in the other direction that we are sometimes guilty of creating equal, but opposite, problems for them as we work out our own issues through them. That being said, there’s something wonderful about the wonder a child brings to this world. Jesus agreed. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 2:17

“When Jesus heard this, he told them, ‘It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Who needs Jesus? The “right” answer to that question (at least as far as Jesus’ followers are concerned) is everyone. But I want to focus on a different angle of it with you this morning. Focus on the word “need” there with me for a few minutes. If you need something, by definition, that implies you don’t have it and can’t get along without it. With this slight shift in focus, then, let’s ask it again: Who needs Jesus? Let’s talk about it.

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