Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The End of the World (Again!)

If you are reading this, then the end of the world did NOT happen on Saturday, May 20 as predicted by a West Coast minister. This same minister also predicted that the world would end on September 6, 1994. Twitter and other social media sites are having fun with Rapture jokes. A group of atheists, ‘Eternal Earth-Bound Pets’ has set up a company to care for the pets belonging to those Christians who have been raptured. There is also a company called ‘You’ve been left Behind’ which will, for a fee of $14.95, send your digital music to an un-raptured friend after the judgment day. While this all makes for lots of laughs, the subject is really serious. Biblical prophecy at its core reminds us that there will be a day when all the wrong of this world will be set right. It’s called The Day of The Lord. Our hearts long for all the wrong around us to be made right. Jesus did not even claim to know the day or hour that this would take place. The important thing to keep in mind is that the day is coming, and we don’t have to know when, but we can know Him until then.

Don't Give A Second Thought

Lectionary Passage 1 Peter 3:13-22

At times when the Christian community is faced with great challenge, even our central purpose of making Disciples seems so out of reach! In this passage, we are encouraged to do three things. 1) Stay focused on Christ with our heart and mind, not giving a second thought to the difficulties. 2) Be ready with a testimony about what Christ did for us. And 3) let Christ do his work of salvation in the middle of seemingly impossible times for the furtherance of his church. This advice got the Christian community through their rough season, and the church did get to a productive season of making disciples. Our hope today comes from this same advice at such similar times.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Growing Up

Lectionary Passage 1 Peter 2:2-10

Like an infant grows up, consuming increasingly complex nourishment, we are encouraged to grow up spiritually with the rich nourishment God gives us. We can go beyond the childish concerns of life to grow into our calling to be like a nation of priests, using the words of our testimony to act like a door into the things of the kingdom. The words of our testimony tell how we went from darkness into life, and these words of testimony act like keys to unlock doors to let the light of Christ in.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let God Set Things Right

Lectionary Passage: 1 Peter 2:19-25

An amazing thing about the life of Christ was the mixture of both the occasional miraculous occurrence along with a lot of seemingly normal humanity. Large portions of the life of Christ we do not know, and the parts we do know involve a lot of ‘normal’ everyday life. Christ’s simple, humble life contrasts with the profound impact of the hand of God on account of his life. Jesus was ‘content to let God set things right’ (as worded in the Message,) even while he suffered hatred for his service.
Often we cannot see the profound impact happening now or yet to come on account of our simple, humble service to God. But with Christ as the living Word, fulfilling it all, we are in him, and his word does not return without having the effect of growing the kingdom. We serve simply, but expect profound impact by God’s hand.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Time to Regain Consciousness

Lectionary Passage 1 Peter 1:17-23

What were you thinking? This may be what our mother asked us after something we did, or it may be the question going through our mind when we look at much of what is going on in the world around us! Mindlessness is rampant! But this is also nothing new! The Christians living in the hostile world of the time of the writing of 1 Peter needed to hear of a way to face a hostile, mindless-acting world, and so do we. The answer is deceptively simple: live with a deep consciousness of the good news of Jesus Christ. With Christ in mind, we can live out the faith. We can respond to any situation in love, honor, and respect, even if this is not the attitude in which we were addressed. Having a Jesus-minded consciousness keeps us awake to his kingdom of light coming in the midst of this crazy world!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Assignment

Lectionary Reading 1 Peter 1:3-9 (also vs. 1,2)

Apostle Paul reminds us that we all may feel like resident aliens. Since we put Christ at the center of our life, we tread against the flow of the world. We are on assignment to live out this new life in Christ. It will necessarily make for trying times. But it will also serve to refine us. Living like we are in foreign territory is uncomfortable. But just as these difficulties make us feel like we’ve had the wind knocked out of us, God’s spirit refills our spiritual ‘lungs,’ bring us life, enough life for us, and enough life to share. This is our assignment, and it brings us joy to the assignment!