When Everything Falls Apart

This week we are kicking off a new teaching series called, A Love Story. For the next four weeks we are going to be walking through one of the greatest love stories in the Scriptures. It is found in a little book tucked away in an easily overlooked corner of the Hebrew Bible called Ruth. Rather than just telling the story, we are going to experience together through the eyes of the characters who were actually in it. Read the story for yourself, and then take some time with this message and encounter for perhaps the first time through one who was there.

When Everything Falls Apart

I love a good story. Don’t you? There are just some ideas we can communicate better through the lens of a story than we can by plain instruction or by facts and figures. Now, we still need those, but stories are powerful things. There’s a reason so much of what we find in the Scriptures comes through the lens of a story. Do you know what’s even better than a regular, old story, though? A love story. Love stories are really powerful. There’s a reason Hallmark is a made-for-TV-producing juggernaut and that multiple different networks and streaming services are basically cut-and-pasting their storytelling format…especially during the Advent season. 

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Digging in Deeper: Galatians 6:2

“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We are moving into the summer season and that means one thing more than any other: movies. Summer is the season for blockbusters. All the biggest, most fun, most exciting films seem to come out in the summer. The Top Gun sequel started things off this past weekend to great acclaim. The third installment in the Jurassic World franchise (which is really just a continuation of the Jurassic Park franchise) is next week. The fourth addition to Marvel’s Thor storyline is next month. Lots and lots to see. Perhaps the only thing you can’t see during the summer anymore are big budget original stories. That’s a criticism for another time. In addition to all of this, though, with the rise of digital streaming, the small screen is being treated to more and more must-see fare as well. Disney+ has just started its Obi-Wan series and will premier its Ms. Marvel series next week. But what is perhaps the summer’s number one show to stream is Netflix’s fourth season of Stranger Things. With Part 1 out now (which I haven’t quite watched in its totality), and Part 2 coming in July, let’s take a few minutes today and reflect on a powerful theme that has already made itself clear in the series.

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 14:12

“There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What would you say if Captain America was British and female, Black Panther was an outer space Robinhood who reasoned Thanos out of destroying half the life in the universe, and the Avengers all got turned into super-powered zombies? I’d say you were reading a version of the comics different than the one most people have heard of. That would be correct. Marvel’s latest offering on Disney+ delves into a corner of the comics realm that is decidedly outside the norm and purposely so. Using a comic book line that first appeared in 1977, the latest Marvel series takes viewers on a beautifully animated journey into the question of “What if?” Now that the multiverse has been unleashed following the Loki series, each episode of What If? explores the universe that might have been created if a single event or decision by one of Marvel’s main characters had gone differently. This morning, I’d like to explore one of these with you.

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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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Digging in Deeper: Lamentations 3:17-18

“My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)

Eighteen months. Eighteen months of nothing. There were rumors and reports, sure, but nothing concrete to embrace. Not a single thing. Then it suddenly arrived: Hope and the promise of a brighter future. We could all breathe a big sigh of relief because Marvel Studios had indeed not succumbed to the COVID economy. After waiting since July 2, 2019 when Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters, on Friday, January 15, 2021, the much anticipated new entry, Wandavision finally premiered on Disney+. Whether because it really is that good, or because we’d all grown so used to Marvel’s regular theatrical releases that the absence primed our hearts to be fond of whatever they released next, it has been a major hit. After months of nothing but rumors and scoops, the Marvel fandom finally had something solid to digest and debate. And so it has. This morning let’s talk about Wandavision and what it just may mean for you and me.

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