Churches around the world honor the “cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us – all those people who shaped, challenged, and carried us…
According to John’s Gospel, the first miracle Jesus performs in his public ministry is to turn water into wine at a wedding. John’s Gospel calls the miracles “signs” because through them we see the glory of God. This sign meant seeing God’s glory at a feast – a wedding banquet.
A wise art teacher used to say, “Make art that won’t be burnt up.” He meant, make art that will outlast the last judgment. Make art that will count as one of the “glories of the nations” brought into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:26). Beauty attracts us, even when our reasons are unconvinced.
“What do you mean, that’s not my father? Those are the hands that cared for me. Those are the arms that took me up and hugged me. Those are the lips that spoke to me; the eyes that searched for me; the chest on which I fell asleep, knowing I was safe in his care. Everything I have ever known of my father was through this body. Don’t tell me that’s not him.”
Our world needs to be new again: reborn, pressed against the chest of its Creator. Do galaxies have a newborn smell? Do subatomic particles dance with the hard-to-predict movements of a newborn’s kicking legs? In the youth of the world, did the trees yawn the contented sigh of a just-nursed newborn?
As good as the story of Esther is, however, it presents us with a problem: God is absent. Unlike other Old Testament stories, where we read of God appearing to Abraham or working behind the scenes to foil the plans of the Pharaoh, the story of Esther never mentions God. Rather, the characters in Esther appear to be acting on their own. God, it seems, is absent.
This is the time of year when advertisements inundate us with images of happy families gloriously celebrating the holidays. Women in velvet dresses clink…
We are so drawn to pessimism because pessimism at the end of the day is easier. It is easier to look down than it is to look up.
Hell has dispatched some deceivers who are on the loose in your life!
Without a doubt, the church should be concerned about the dignity of all people, but the church should be different in that it is the place primarily where justice and dignity are displayed.