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Deny Oneself

Mark08v31to38_2006The Scene Changes. “Then Jesus said to his disciples” With these words the scene moves from the personal debate with Peter to a general pronouncement about discipleship, the first part of it echoing what Jesus has already said to his disciples in 10:38–39: “whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life…

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Divine and Human Thinking

Divine and Human Thinking

get-behind-me1The Suffering Messiah. “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (v.23) neatly summarizes the nature of the problem. The way the disciples react to the idea of messianic suffering and “defeat” shows that this concept of Messiah is going to be very hard to get across. Here, as elsewhere, the mention of resurrection on the third day gets lost. It is apparently so overshadowed by…

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Suffering and Glory

Matthew16v21to28_2008Matthew 16:21–27 21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an…

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Binding and Loosing Rightly

Binding and Loosing Rightly

JesusServingDid you know you are a priest? It is part of Catholic teaching that because of your baptism you share in a universal priesthood. Although having a different implication of such a priesthood, the German protestant Martin Luther described it this way: “The fact that we are all priests… means that each of us Christians may go before God and intercede for the other, If I notice that you have no faith…

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What do you believe in there?

What do you believe in there?

Nicodemus and JesusThere are many different scenes and settings in which this basic scenario can play out. Barbara Taylor Brown tells of a woman in her congregation who left church, her mind and attention already turned to many things. She did not notice a lost-looking man on the sidewalk staring up at the cross on the steeple. She excused herself and started to walk on her way when the man called to her, and,…

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Calculus of the Kingdom

Calculus of the Kingdom

When I was a youth I read a book, “Cheaper By the Dozen” that tells the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and their twelve children. I always thought they were on to something, at least in the sense that their must be a “calculus of child rearing.” So years later armed with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, an MBA, and…

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The Confession: a context

The Confession: a context

Matthew 16:13-2013 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus said to him in…

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Crossing Over

crossing-the-divideSeptember 1965 should have been a great year. I was a rising 8th grader at St James school in Orlando – you know, about to become king of the school. That’s when geography dealt a cruel blow. Both my older sisters were going to the Bishop Moore HS – which was the opposite direction from St James. In a moment, my fate was sealed. I had to transfer to St. Charles which shared a campus with the HS.…

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Resolutions - it’s never too late

Resolutions – it’s never too late

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A number of us were sitting around last week talking about this and that, and any number of things. In the course of the conversation someone mentioned New Year’s Resolutions – what has worked and what has… shall we say… resides somewhere between “oh yeah, I forgot about that” and “yeah… that didn’t work out so well.” What was interesting to us all is that many times the resolutions that did not…

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The Canaanite Woman: the reply

The Canaanite Woman: the reply

CannaniteHeadlinesHow are we to Understand Jesus’ Response? The disciples’ request, Send her away for she keeps calling out after usneed not be understood as disapproval of her request, but simply a desire for peace and quiet (cf. 19:13?). In fact, if Jesus would just grant the petition, they all can rest. Many scholars hold this content makes Jesus’ emphatic objection (v.24) more cogent. But rather than take the…

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