Tag Archives: Jesus

Some thoughts on Easter about Jesus

5 Apr

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The wonder of Jesus is not that He was born of a virgin, died, or is risen.  If one truly believes in an omnipotent God, then it would be no great feat for Him to do anything. The wonder of Jesus is that He was truly a man, as human as any other.  His life demonstrated that God does dwell in Man, thus showing us the potential in ourselves. Were Jesus a deity,  there would be no mystery or greatness in what He did. But because He was fully human,  and yet also filled with the loving wisdom,  compassion,  and understanding of His heavenly Father, He showed it was possible for us.  

Jesus gave all glory and honor to the Father, taking none for Himself. When He spoke and acted it was with the authority of His father, yet weak minds grew jealous and persecuted Him.  Birth and death come to us all, so too they came to Jesus. Where we came from or where we will end,  we cannot say. Do not therefor attempt to answer for Him. Instead follow His advice and have the faith of a child, and the reverent trust of the centurion. He told us He went to prepare a place for us, that His father’s house has many rooms, and that no one gets to the Father but through Him. Rather than argue about what we do not understand, let us faithfully follow His lead. If He said it, so it is.
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In living as He did, Jesus really was  the way, the truth, and the light. He called Himself the Son of Man for that’s who He was, leaving it for others to call Him the Son of God. And through His example and sacrifice,  He made it possible for each of us to also be a child of God.

Do not be confused by the dogma of religion. Two thousand years of lies and secrecy corrupting His message,  sometimes innocently,  sometimes in conspiracy by lustfilled men hoping to control others –  lust for power,  prestige,  money,  or worse. Jesus was, is, the ultimate human being and teacher. A bad administration may try to suppress a good teacher,  but a true Master will inspire students no matter what. Today we celebrate His resurrection, but really He dwells within us when we carry His truth and loving message in our hearts.
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Thoughts on prayer

1 Nov

Prayer is good for the soul. Even when you think no one is listening, they are. Besides, to express your inner most thoughts whether silently or verbally, even to yourself, is cleansing. God works in mysterious ways, maybe that release is why we’re encouraged to pray. I think maybe prayer is more for us than it is for Him, and that it is a good thing. I bet He knows that.

Jesus encouraged us to pray, prayed himself, and gave us some great advice on how to do it. It’s recorded in Matthew:

Matthew 6:5-8 NIV

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Verses 6:9-13 then lay out what is commonly referred to as “the Lord’s prayer”. Like so many of the direct quotes from Jesus, it is some of the most profound, eloquent, beautiful, and insightful words into the human condition and our relationship with God that have ever been spoken.

Why then are sermons focused on this advice, or standard church sermons on any topic, so often followed by verbose exhortations to God about what we need and bombastic words of worship? Are we trying to impress God, or each other?

I should be writing other things right now, not on the blog, in preparation for going back to grad school. But this has been on my mind for several days (weeks really) so I wanted to get it off my chest. Keep praying, it really is good for you. And when you do it, listen to yourself. 1) It will help you focus the words you’re lifting up to God, and 2) even if you don’t believe, at least somebody will be listening. And listening to yourself can be a very good thing too. May we each have a blessed and appreciative day. Peace.

There’s no finer place to pray or way to worship than outside communing with nature. Peace.

Reflecting on Jesus

2 Oct

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Ministry by walking around, isn’t that basically what Jesus did? He was a Jew, his ‘religion’ a birthright. Although he attended temple and partook in the most common traditions, he spent much more time wandering around, out with people or taking time alone. He both loved and had unparalled compassion for people, those with genuine faith anyway, and yet at times grew very frustrated and angry with people, especially those who made a show of their religion or lacked genuine compassion for others.

Drinking at a wedding, and enabling others to do so, consorting with lowlifes, protecting harlots, eating grain straight from the fields – on a Sabbath no less! Even his biggest fans say that’s the kind of thing he did. He had no job despite some technical training and there’s no indication he even tried to find one. He went as far as encouraging others to leave their own productive work, and disappeared for over a month without explanation simply to ‘find himself’. Eventually he quit going to temple altogether except to criticize it or stir things up. And he had the audacity to claim to have a personal relationship with God, and to speak as with authority about God without even having the proper pedigree or training!

This poor uneducated man from a questionable family dared question the authority and sincerity of the chief priests. This rascal who told his followers to arm themselves, and yet also to submit to a heathen government (that politically backed the chief priests by the way), publicly mocked the temple’s respected leaders. He dangerously ‘healed’ the sick without adhering to the generally accepted practices, and cast out demons simply by telling them to go. Who did this impudent bumpkin think he was?!

Well, the church can thank their lucky stars they don’t have anyone like that causing problems or leading people astray today. We’ve got that old time religion. Good pious, god-fearing missionaries and evangelists who study the book – Christian believers every last one. Why I bet that guy wouldn’t even come to one of our special fun meetings. Doesn’t he see what we’re trying to do here? Where’s his sense of propriety? We don’t need some insolent brute like that asking questions and doubting our faith, no sir.

Or maybe we do. Maybe he did see exactly what the chief priests were trying to do, maybe that’s the problem and why he isn’t here today. Maybe he did have a direct line to God. There were a lot of gods in Jesus day, he knew they were nothing to fear, just empty idols. Likewise with the self-appointed authorities in the temple. He knew who his real father was and what he believed. It was his life, he lived it and didn’t need other people to see or approve. But some did anyway, mostly others who felt aliented or questioned the accepted ways. And the truth and their faith set them free. Not their religion, religion just got in the way. Jesus was a Jew – not a Christian – because of ethnicity and who his earthly father was. He was a child of God because of who God made him. He lived his life in the beautiful, loving way he did not because he was told to, not because he had a political or activist agenda, certainly not because it was a good career choice. (They killed him for heaven’s sake!) He lived as he did simply because that’s who he was in his heart.

Don’t be mistaken. It might have been the Pharisees who turned over Jesus the man for slaughter, but it is the earthly church and the sactimonious hearts of Christians that kill Him every day. There’s more to gathering in His name than calling it a church group. There’s love and compassion and integrity and self honesty. Whenever two or more gather in His name and have THAT, like he did, like He does, then…and only then…there is Love.
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