Tag: Jesus

“…Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise.”

 

You know how sometimes Scripture just seems to jump out at you, or you notice something you hadn’t before? Well, I had one of those moments Friday. My pastor has a daily devotional podcast, and for the Good Friday episode this year, he opted to simply read the story of Jesus’ sacrifice for us from the Bible. When he was reading from Matthew, one verse in particular struck me (I’ve also included the preceding verses for context):

Then two criminals were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him and said, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God rescue him now — if he takes pleasure in him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with him taunted him.

For a Flickering Moment

 

Jesus riding a donkey in Jerusalem

It was Sunday and He rode an unbroken colt in procession through the gates of Jerusalem, heir to the Davidic line and the doer of signs and wonders prophesied to mark the Anointed One, the Messiah, of the Lord who would free the children of Israel. Sweet hosannas were sung by the crowds and palm branches were gathered and waved in celebration as Jesus passed. In this brief moment, it appeared that Heaven and Earth were reconciled and the enemies of Israel would be routed, heralding a golden age like none before it. David had also ridden a donkey, signifying to his people that he came to work, not on a horse that would signify a conqueror.

Of course, the optics were deceptive. I won’t share any spoilers, but that mundane golden age thing did not shape up to the expectations of Judah. For today, Jesus is the triumphant Messiah come to free His people and they celebrate. For a flickering moment.

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The old man leaned on his staff and placed his other hand on the walls of the building lining the the street. He walked alone, slowly and with purpose. His hip may be wasting away, but at least he could still see well enough in the dark to navigate this unfamiliar place. He could still […]

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I’m ashamed to admit that two nights ago I watched George Seaton’s A Miracle on 34th Street for the first time. I didn’t know what I had been missing out on all these years. If you haven’t seen it, go to your local video store or streaming service as soon as you can. The movie was about […]

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Quote of the Day: Jesus and the Adulteress

 

It is an essential story of Jesus’ ministry. From John 8:

“3Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5“Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned.d But what do You say?”
6This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
8And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
12Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
– NKJV

Allie Beth Stuckey stops in to talk about her book, You’re Not Enough (& That’s Okay) – Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love. She and Bridget have a frank conversation about God, Christianity, and why she believes that the idea you have to love yourself in order to love other people is a fallacy infecting people’s minds. They discuss the tough road through college, the partying, the unhealthy lifestyle, and the struggle with an eating disorder that forced her to the realization that she would die if she didn’t change things. She and Bridget discuss their personal faith and beliefs, where they are similar, and where they differ. It’s an incredibly warm and open conversation between two women who don’t necessarily agree on everything, but respect each other’s beliefs and opinions, and are willing to share and learn from each other.

There Will Be No Beauty Left

 

No churches with their glowing stained glass windows, no murals, no paintings of Christ with the children, no depictions of Mary being touched by God—all these will disappear if Shaun King has his way. He told his 1.1 million followers that all images of a white Jesus and his ‘European’ mother should be destroyed. White Jesus is a symbol of ‘white supremacy,’ and has been used over the centuries to oppress anyone not white.

How many of his followers will take his pronouncement and follow through with destroying churches, statues of Jesus and Mary, paintings, etc.? Should armed guards be stationed 24/7 to protect “The Last Supper?” What about the statue of Mary and Jesus, “The Pieta?” Wasn’t there an attempt years ago to damage that? How many paintings and murals with a white Jesus also show people of other races? In many of those, Jesus is seated among the people. Would an oppressor feel comfortable enough to sit with those he is supposedly oppressing?

Rob Long is in for Jim Geraghty again.  He and Greg rip into far left activist Shaun King for wanting all “European” depictions of Jesus torn down and discuss that the real target of many on the far left is not just religious artwork but the church itself.  They also weigh in on why many police are doing nothing to stop the vandalism and destruction of statues and monuments and they address the political debate arising on the right about whether the police ought to clamp down and protect these properties or whether images of endless rioting are going to lead to more votes for Republicans in November.  And they have fun with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did nothing about rioting but is now on the warpath against illegal fireworks dealers.

The Atheist and the Acorn

 

This starts with a joke. Not a particularly good one, but perhaps the novelty will save the humor. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it told.

An atheist is arguing with a priest as they walk through a grove of trees. “How can you believe in a God who created such a disordered universe? Look at these mighty oak trees. See the tiny acorns they produce. And yet the massive pumpkin grows on a feeble vine. If I had designed the world that situation would be corrected, let me tell you.”

Jesus Preaches on Isaiah

 

In Luke chapter 4, Jesus/Yeshua reads from Isaiah 61 and makes a shocking claim about it:

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

The Best Advice from the Best Advisor

 

Our group-writing topic for this month is advice, and I thought it only right to begin with the very most important advice that I or anyone else could give. It was, of course, given by Jesus:

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

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The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). He would come from the family of David (Psalm 89:3-4; 29-36). God promised Abraham that through his family all the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). He would be God’s only “begotten” son (Psalm 89:27). But the LORD will give you a sign […]

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One of the issues that divide believers in the divinity of Jesus from non-believers is the question of whether the Gospels represent historically reliable information. For example, here is a quote from Matthew 1:20-21 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and […]

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As far as Christmas Carols go I’m mostly a fan of the old hymns. The older poetry had to conform to a stricter set of rules. You have to spend a lot more effort on your word choices when you’re constrained like that, and the effort shows in the quality of your writing. They also […]

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Ave Maria: Venerating the Brave Virgin, and her Consent

 

Warning: Including some crass humor in the description of a Great Christian Mystery is intended to drive home just how extraordinary a woman Mary must have been, as well as the extraordinary — indeed quite odd — nature of the mystery involved.

Ave Maria, gratia plena… Hail Mary, full of grace… These words, whether set to the sumptuous music of Biebl’s much-beloved one-hit wonder, sung to another tune, or simply spoken, will ring out through many a church today, the last Sunday of Advent, the last caravanserai parishioners pause at before reaching Bethlehem itself, and the Word Made Flesh.

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  This week, I mailed off a Christmas package to the small sons of a faraway, good friend. I am quite pleased about this on two counts: first, that I mailed the the package in time to get to Florida before Christmas without having to shell out for two-day mail, and second, that I managed […]

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Some people might say I’m either incredibly foolish or extremely brave in bringing up this topic. But I discuss politics all the time—why not religion? I’m curious, however, about the Christian generosity towards Jews and Israel, especially after a conversation I had recently with a Christian friend. Now let me tell you a little about my friend, […]

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The gospel of Mark and the gospel of John provide quite different accounts of the trial of Jesus. There are similarities in that Pontius Pilate is the Roman Governor during this trial. But in the gospel of Mark, when Pilate asks Jesus if he is, in fact, the King of the Jews, Jesus responds with […]

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