Morning Musing: Mark 14:15-16

“He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”
— ‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:15-16‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I remember being given a worksheet to do when I was in an elementary summer school program years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s still around today. At a glance, it is a pretty simple worksheet. There are twenty instructions students are to follow. As soon as the list is complete, they may turn it in. The kick is, the instructions all seem pretty weird. None of them are difficult. There are short math problems, instructions to count out loud, easy geography questions, and the like. At the very top of the page, though, is one other instruction. In fact, it is the only instruction on the page. It says to read everything first, and then get started. That seems innocuous enough, but most students don’t follow it. You can tell because only one or two students walk up to the front of the room and hand their paper in almost immediately. They do this because the last problem gives a simple command: As soon as you read this, take this paper back to your teacher, you are finished. Students who followed the instructions carefully had a much easier road than those who didn’t. In another odd little episode between Jesus and His disciples here, we find a reminder of this same truth.

Continue reading “Morning Musing: Mark 14:15-16”

Digging in Deeper: Mark 7:5

“So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ceremonially unclean hands?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever crossed a taboo? I live in the south now where, “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Yes, Sir,” are a fundamental part of the culture. Not so where I grew up. I grew up greeting most adults with nothing more than their first names. You can perhaps imagine the shock, then, when I met my wonderful in-laws when visiting Lisa in Charleston, SC for the first time and greeted them warmly by name…first name. Much to their credit, they handled my massive faux pas without even blinking, but I had violated a culturally sacred custom. Every culture has its customs. Some are wise and rightly held (like patterns of respect and honor in the south), but some are just there because, well, they’re there. Others are locked in place because of the currently prevailing worldview whether or not that worldview accords with reality. Jesus and His disciples came up against some of these during His ministry. Let’s talk about it.

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Foes to Friends

Yesterday we continued our look at the story of the first church in Acts as told by Luke. This week we see how God can bring boosts to His kingdom work from places we would never expect them to come. But, if this is going to happen, He needs something from us. Read on as we talk about what that is.

Foes to Friends

Kanye West is not a man well-known for his modesty and humility. Over the course of his career, he’s bounced around from one name to another and one grandiose claim to another. He’s been crude and crass and just downright rude. One of his biggest moments in the spotlight came when he grabbed a mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands when she was accepting a music award in order to make the case why she shouldn’t have won it. He was never known as a friend to Christianity.

Then he became one.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 6:15

“People who are far off will come and build the Lord’s temple, and you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen when you fully obey the Lord your God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every contract has terms and conditions. These are the things written in fine print at the bottom of the page that most people don’t bother to read very closely. I remember being somewhere that I actually took time to read it and the person waiting for me to sign was not happy that I was being that guy. But if there’s a catch, that is where it will be. Well, what Israel had with God wasn’t a contract, but what Zechariah says here is a bit like some fine print.

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Morning Musing: Haggai 1:12-13

“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people obeyed the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered the Lord’s message to the people: ‘I am with you–this is the Lord’s declaration.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday we talked about doing things the wrong way versus doing them the right way. When we do things the wrong way they just don’t work very well. There’s really no way to avoid that. But when we do them the right way, they start working again. This is true with specific tasks we are trying to accomplish, and as we’ll see this morning, it’s true with God too.

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