Let Us Go to the House of the Lord

In the years before the exile to Babylon, The Lord gave warning after warning to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen. They continued to worship false gods and participate in abominable practices. Lest we look down on the Israelites in judgment, however, let us point a finger at ourselves. Just like the sins of Israel caused them to be cut off from the land that was promised to them and the temple where God had promised to dwell among them, so also our sins have caused us to be cut off from God. But the Lord also promised hope through the prophet Jeremiah.

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Perfect Law, Broken Heart

Psalm 19:7 says that “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” What more needs to be said? Just, obey the Ten Commandments and life will be better! And yet, even the author of Psalm 19 admits to not keeping these commandments (v. 12). Knowing the right thing to do is not the same thing as doing it! The commandments are an opportunity to examine yourself.

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Listening to the Lord

This past year or so has felt much like a long season of Lent. For many of us we have given up so many experiences, times with family and friends, activities we used to enjoy, or even just feeling like things are normal. It can be very tempting to focus on everything that is different and yet Fr. Chris and I truly feel like it is an invitation for all of us to draw closer to the living God who wants to speak to each of you and to provide a way for you. Abraham was faithful to God and God provided a way out of His situation. God provided a sacrificial ram that would take the place of Isaac.

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Into the Wilderness of Lent

The first Sunday of Lent is always devoted to remembering Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. The length of the 40 days of Lent is modeled on these 40 days of Jesus, and reading an account of this time in Jesus’ life helps us to frame these 40 days of fasting leading up to our celebration of Easter.

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Rose-Colored Glasses

Sometimes we see our lives through rose-colored glasses. We see all of the ways that we consider ourselves to be “good Christian people” when the reality is that we could all use a little (or a lot!) of work. Today is a day to admit our wrong-doings and the impurities of our hearts.

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Stuck in Fear

Today we meet Elijah, sitting in a cave, exhausted and fearing for his life. Elijah feels alone, he feels like a failure, he feels exhausted, and he is scared for his life. Elijah was paralyzed by fear to the point where he could no longer move forward. He was stuck. I think we all get to that place sometimes. Things seem to be falling apart all around us and we are scared to move forward and scared to turn around and go back. Where do we turn? What do we do?

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Blessing the Nations

When God called Abraham in Genesis 12:3 he told him: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God didn’t save you to keep that blessing for yourself, he wants you to share it. There is no treasure greater than a relationship with the Living God! By sharing this treasure you lose nothing and those who receive the gift gain everything. We are called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. What part is God calling you to play in his mission?

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Shaped by the Great Teacher

Today lots of people in positions of power often do not realize the full impact of their words and actions. Today we can consume ideas and thoughts in the privacy of our homes or the privacy of our phone viewing. So it is easy to see how people can not realize the sheer quantity of people who are hearing their message. A number on the screen can not compare to human bodies in front of us. Rarely do we have to watch or listen to something in front of others. This is a profound difference in the way that humans have taken in information for all of time. With the invention of the internet and the invention of the cell phone we can quietly consume ideas without the input of others around us. So how do we live for Jesus and set down our ideas to the one who can shape us for good? Come listen with us.

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What is Your Good News?

What brings a smile to your face when you read the newspaper? (I’m not talking about the comics!) I enjoy stories about exciting emerging technology, long-awaited justice, undeserved kindness, truth coming to light, and beauty. These are generally seen as “good news” to me. You might get excited by different stories. In the Gospel today, Jesus brings good news to the region of Galilee. Even though he spoke of this news 2,000 years ago, the news is just as good and exciting as the day he first spoke of it.

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Hearing God

It is easy to take hearing God for granted, forgetting that in the days of the Prophet Samuel, the word of God was “rare” (1 Samuel 3:1). Today, every believer has the ability to hear directly from God through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. How often do we take the time to listen? Some may have never learned how to hear God’s voice at all.

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