Nov 13

Getting Ready to Wait

Once upon a time, two young women tried out for their college’s basketball team. At the tryouts the pair quickly discovered that, as good as they were, neither one was going to be the team’s star. Over a couple of weeks, cut after cut happened, and still the women found themselves on the list to return for the next workout. 60, 40, 30, 20: finally the time came to announce the final 15 who would make the team, and there they were—14th and 15th on the roster. They knew they had no chance of ever playing. The team had 5 excellent starters, 5 really good second-string players, and 5 benchwarmers. The two women were not going to run the court this season. Continue reading

Jun 06

Galatians: Zeal for Christ

After Jesus, the Apostle Paul is the most central figure in the New Testament. Sure, it’s a distant second—we worship Jesus, not Paul. But through the Holy Spirit Paul has shaped what it means to be a follower of Jesus more than anyone after Christ. And one of the most important ways Paul shows us how to be a Christian is by pointing to his own life as an example or even as proof of whatever he wants to tell Christ’s church. Continue reading

May 02

Advocate for Love

Love is the visible witness to our invisible Lord and Savior. Love is not a feeling or an emotion, although feelings and emotions can spur us to love and can help (or hurt) when we want to know who we should love. But Love is first and foremost something we do and how that we do what we do. The Glory of God is Love, “Love Divine, all loves excelling,” as we sang in our opening hymn this morning. When we love as God loves us, when, especially, we love our enemies, God is glorified by what we do, and we can claim, truthfully, that we are full of the Holy Spirit. If you want to know, am I saved?, am I following Jesus Christ?, then look to how you love, and how you want to grow in love. Continue reading

Apr 25

The Risky Witness of Love

The Glory of God is nothing less than the Love of the Father for the Son. It’s a beautiful Love, a Love that radiates with a brightness outshining even the sun. The Glory of God is a Love so deep, so full, so true, so real that God’s Glory, God’s Love, has a Name, and that Name is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit just is God’s Love, the Love of the Father for the Son, the Love of the Son for the Father, the Love of God for us, God’s creatures. The Glory of God is the Holy Spirit, who is the Love of God. Continue reading

Dec 08

Light of Fire and Love

The days are getting shorter this month, each day marked by a little less sunlight and a little more night, as we head into the winter season. The shadows are lengthening and earlier than even a few weeks ago. Darkness reaches out sooner and sooner, and releases its grip more reluctantly in the mornings, too. It’s as if, in our northern hemisphere, the world is tensing up, drawing in on itself, like our hearts, fully compressed, waiting to release in the moments between the beats. Continue reading