Showing posts from January, 2018

Join me in this

Calling Disciples, by He Qi Follow me, up and down, all the way, and all around. Make it part of you to be a part of me. Follow me, where I go, what I do, and who I know. Take my hand and say you’ll follow me. (by John Denver) Mark 1:14-20 When you are a pastor, it feels like you get a leg up on this text, because you make your living following Jesus.   How are we to follow Jesus?   One easy answer is to become a pastor. Boom. Done.   Box checked off – Kara and Lisa are following Jesus.   But what about the rest of you? How do you know if you are following Jesus?    Let’s be honest, who among us even knows what that really means? How do we follow Jesus in our lives today? Maybe by being nice to people?   Jesus wants us to be nice to people, right? Ok, check. Mostly, at least, some of the time, anyway. Telling other people about Jesus? Umm… the pastors are good on that one anyway. Praying and read our bible?   Not as regu

What's really going on, and those who get it

Isaiah 60:1-6 Matthew 2:1-12 Epiphany has come to be known as the celebration of the three kings’ encounter with Jesus, only in this text there are only two kings, and neither of them are the Magi.   Our passage begins “in the time of King Herod”, and I translate, “In the time of a notorious authoritarian demagogue, enormously wealthy and notably insecure, a ruler obsessed with his reputation, who both taxed the people extensively and offered extensive job creation on vast construction projects throughout the kingdom designed to build up his name. Herod was a sovereign answerable to a foreign government, who spent lavish sums of money building up his own private empire and secure fortresses, whose rule was characterized by security measures aimed at suppressing the people’s contempt for him and keeping them from speaking out, and whom history remembers for both for his successes and his tyrannical despotism, in that   time…” In the time of that “king”’s rule, comes