Every sensible person agrees that gossip is a bad thing. You don’t even have to be especially wise to come to that conclusion! It’s rarely completely truthful, almost always skewed and sometimes utterly false. Gossip always delights in whatever is salacious, demeaning, vulgar. Good news about someone is never called gossip – the news of a person’s success or promotion might be a rumor, if we are not certain of it, but gossip embellishes nasty little tales of failure or degradation or corrupt behavior, making the most of the worst.Read More
You Get What You Plant
A foundation always shows – eventually, though not overtly. The foundation lies underground, hidden from direct observation, waiting for its time when it will show its quality. A poorly founded home will appear the same as any other home until it is tested by the storm. It is under pressure that the importance of the foundation will be seen – and the pressure always comes, eventually.
You get what you plant.Read More integrity, foundation
The Devil’s Orthodoxy
“’I know who you are! You are God’s Holy One. . . . You are the Son of God!’ . . . the demons . . . knew he was the Messiah” (v 41).
One thing you can’t fault the devil for is his orthodoxy. He is one sharp dogmatist. His favourite subject is theology. We see this repeatedly in Scripture, from the opening pages of the Old Testament where the serpent engages Eve in theological debate, to the opening pages of the New Testament, where the devil spars with Jesus over points of doctrine.Read More devil, disciples, demons
When an Outsider’s Faith is More Than My Own
Reflections from an officer’s friend
. . . Many Romans had been in our town before, but none like him.
This Roman officer was so different. He respected me, a Jew. He watched out for us. He didn’t abuse us. He was so different. He asked questions – really good questions.Read More faith, healing, Jesus
Eyes of Compassion
In our pluralistic culture there are many who do not know the true identity of Jesus. This problem of recognition is not greatly different from how it was at the time of Jesus. Recognizing and acknowledging Jesus is at the heart of our faith. Luke is intent on telling the story of Jesus so we will know who he is – the Messiah, the Promised One of Israel. There is much that can prevent even those of us within the faith from seeing as we ought.Read More Messiah, John the Baptist, expectations
Jesus Put His Hand on Him
This passage raises a question, raised elsewhere in the gospels, about the so-called messianic secret: that Jesus spent the first stretch of his earthly ministry on a kind of stealth mission, in a kind of game of cloak-and-dagger. He was a holy subversive, doing heaven’s work incognito and on the sly. He didn’t want anyone to know who he was. He didn’t want word out about what he was doing. He warned people to keep his work and his identity secret.Read More holiness
We live at a time where the spirit of entitlement seems to be pervasive and the spirit of gratitude is easily ignored. This story takes place in the house of a Pharisee. What might have been just another social time soon includes a memorable moment. Jesus is reclining at the table, with his feet tucked in behind him. And then “a woman of the city, who was a sinner” comes on the scene. Weeping she takes her alabaster flask of ointment and lavishes it on the feet of Jesus.Read More forgiveness, gratitude, entitlement
Find the Solid Ground
Jesus, always the consummate storyteller, once told a tale about two builders, one wise and one foolish. The first chose to construct his home on a solid base; when a violent storm came, the house was not shaken. The second built on shifting sand. The foundation crumbled and the storm decimated his home.
Integrity is key when it comes to construction, even more so when it comes to one’s life.Read More strength, character, integrity