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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Morning Musing: Malachi 2:17

“You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied him?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and he is delighted with them, or else where is the God of justice?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have your kids ever worn you out? If you are a parent, then the answer to that question is almost assuredly a resounding, “Yes!” That’s just part of the journey of parenthood. The older kids get, the more they begin to look for ways they can assert their growing sense of independence. Unfortunately, that sense of independence does not develop as fast as a spirit of wisdom and discernment regarding the prudence of the choices they make. That is, they may think they’re good, but they still need their parents for guidance and direction. This, of course, creates a tension that can be pretty draining. Well, if you are a parent who has felt this before, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. Not only are there other parents who feel the same way from time to time, but so does your heavenly Father.

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