Dinner with Jesus

Nakahl (Jumieh lunch)

A new Coffee with Jesus posted on Facebook is often a bright spot in the morning – usually communicating something very profound along with more than a little sharp wit.  To folks who are used to a ‘tame’ Jesus – it can be a bit jarring.

Lent is a season connected to food in many ways – from “Fat Tuesday” where folks celebrate before entering a time of fasting, to the somber meal of Maundy Thursday recalling the Last Supper / New Passover Jesus shared with his disciples, to the feast of Easter, where family and friends and church members often gather in a variety of meals celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.

In the midst of all of this, I’d like to offer a quick but fascinating Bible Study.  Luke, above and beyond the other three Gospels, tells us about Jesus the dinner guest.

Luke 5:27-32
Luke 7:36-50
Luke 11:37-54
Luke 14:1-24
Luke 15:1-7
Luke 19:1-10

What do these passages tell us about who Jesus hung out with?

What do they say about Jesus’ priorities – about ours?

What do you think would Jesus say to us, if we were bold enough to invite him over to our homes for dinner?

From the Pastor: The Things We Forget…

radio 01Daylight Saving Time is coming up in a few weeks, and that means I’ll soon be racking my brains to remember again how to change the time on the dashboard of our car.

It’s easier than it used to be.  I seem to recall that changing the time on our old station wagon meant holding in one button (never could remember which one) for a few seconds, pressing something else, wiggling your nose just right and then maybe…  Wait, was the radio supposed to be off or on for it to work?

But I digress.   My point is that when we come to something we know but don’t use very often, it is often hard to recall or put back into practice right away.  The same goes for our faith lives.  We all know that faith is more than “head knowledge” and it is more than “heart knowledge”.   They both need to get lived out day to day in our relationship with God.

I think most of us get this in the big picture sense, and being on the journey together means we’re figuring out how to put this into practice one bit at a time, following Jesus, being changed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live into the Father’s mission. Continue reading “From the Pastor: The Things We Forget…”

The Cleansing of Eustace Scrubb

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Right Click to Download: 02-10-13

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From the Pastor: “Preparing for the Journey”

path 06When I was a little kid, getting ready for an overnight visit with my grandfather involved a great deal of packing all kinds of games, pens and pencils and paper, as much as could fit in my half of the back seat of the family station wagon.  A change of clothes was probably mandatory, but definitely a secondary priority in my book, especially considering how painfully boring riding in a car through central Illinois was to an elementary school age boy in an age before Angry Birds.  Looking back, I should have just been grateful that we were on the Western side of the state, but I digress…

What we bring along on a journey depends on lots of factors: how long we’ll be gone, what we think we’ll be doing, our perception of what we need, and so forth.  The more we travel, the better we get at realizing what things are essential, and what just takes up space and becomes a bother to lug around.

When we consider the image of our relationship with God as being on a journey or pilgrimage through life, the same kinds of questions arise: how do we prepare for the different phases of the journey? Continue reading “From the Pastor: “Preparing for the Journey””

From the Pastor: Thoughts Along the Way

Photo by Morgan Jane Photography
Photo by Morgan Jane Photography

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’  ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.  Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing.  He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.  Which of the two did what his father wanted?”  (Matthew 21:28-31a)

The end of the year is almost upon us.  When I was at home, it meant that the time for Dave Barry’s year in review was almost at hand.  Often irreverent, sometimes poignant, almost always funny, it was a great way to recall the large and small events which were a part of our cultural experience.  I’m about to start writing my annual report, in an attempt to take stock of our journey together in life and ministry.

Of course, with the coming of the end of the year, we also start to anticipate the beginning of the new.  Traditionally, it’s been a time where we act on some of those things we took stock of in the looking back.  New diets, more exercise are popular resolutions (somehow not coincidental to all of those occasions for holiday feasting, I suspect).  For others, it might be quitting smoking or reading more.  For some, it’s a resolve in some more serious matter. Continue reading “From the Pastor: Thoughts Along the Way”