Showing posts from April, 2010

Numbers 20:2-13

Tho it sounds a bit cliche, grace really is amazing to me.  I have been blogging now for a few years trying to wrap my brain around it, finding myself again and again astounded by it.  How could this God who cannot even look at sin continue to call to me lovingly for all those years?  How could He want me?

Grace, to me, is this wonderful understanding that I cannot do anything to be worthy of His love or to lose it.

As I was working on a lesson for this week's small group, I wanted to find something cool, something profound and exciting, to teach.  I didn't find it.

Anytime I teach, I want to be useful as an instrument of God, sharing His Word in such a way that others are moved and the Spirit shows up.  I am not that powerful, even if God and His Word is.

Instead, what I found was this simplistic passage in Numbers 20.

The Hebrews had been wandering in the wilderness for 38 years, between the luxury of slavery and the poverty of freedom.  They again begin to whine and quarrel…

To Touch His Coat

Ever have one of those songs that you find yourself humming over and over but can't stop once you realize it is there?  Pastor Eric at Victory Church taught a bit on Mark 5 last week (and you can probably listen to the message this coming Sunday here at 11am EST), but I find I cannot get this woman out of my head.

Jesus was busy on a rescue operation for a leader of the church whose daughter was very sick.  He was going to the house to heal her, accompanied by a crowd of gawkers & groupies.  Contrasting with the pending death of an innocent child, a woman who has been suffering for many years comes into the crowd, a woman unclean because she has been bleeding for those years.  We don't know exactly what is wrong with her, but according to Jewish law anyone who is bleeding is unclean and anyone who touches such a person also becomes unclean.

For a long time I have only seen her shame and unworthiness.  She is an outcast because of her condition.  This Sunday, reading it aga…

The good, the bad, the ugly

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
For you died, and your life is
now hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:1-3
Do you ever feel stuck?  I want to do better, but I continue to do what I do.  I want to be better, but I continue to be stuck in the same muck as yesterday, last week, two months ago, and sometimes worse.

How do we change?

Step 7 says that "We humbly ask Him [God] to remove our shortcomings."

The first time around the steps, I was pretty sure how this step worked.  I prayed and asked for help, but I researched the spiritual priniciple that I could practice instead of the defect and carefully attempted to choose my responses.  This time, I have a different take.  Surrendering, yet a little more, that I cannot fix me, but instead I must let God change me.  I have good intentions but seem to never quite get it.  Isn…

Day of Gentle Grace

This Easter weekend, Holy Saturday in particular, I got some interesting text messages: 

One, from @erwinmcmanus, "It's the day between the days that changed the world.  The dash - between the period . and the exclamation point!-between the cross and the tomb."

While a Jewish friend chided-"What do you Christians do now? Revert to Judaism?"

We would go to church as children on Good Friday for the reading of the Passion, and there was always a bit of sadness.  The crucifix was draped in black cloth.  There was no joy.  Our Lord was dead, again.  All day Saturday we waited, much as those earliest followers must have waited.  Fortunately, we knew that there was another service later.  The evening vigil mass was dramatic, beginning with the blessing of fire which created a sense of sparking our hope, warming our spirits that been a void without His presence.  And of course Easter morning with candy and church and stiff new dresses and shiny tight shoes reminded us…