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Archive for July, 2013

Over the past few weeks, our adult class at church has been discussing the 7 miracles of Jesus detailed in the book of John. A primary characteristic of all of Jesus’ miracles is that they are not done for the sake of showing off power, but carry meaning about his relationship with God and us. There is a way in which Jesus not only tells parables, but lives them conspicuously in these wonders.

What struck me as we made our way through the entire set this time was the progression through which we are carried from beginning to end. Jesus is deliberate with every step: he knows where he is coming from and where he is going to. His purpose is clear as he draws us into the greater story.

Water to Wine–John 2:1-11

During a wedding at Cana, Jesus’ mother Mary approaches him after it becomes known to her that the banquet is running out of wine. Jesus says to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” Mary, ignoring the response, tells the servants to do as Jesus says. Six large stone jars typically used for purification rituals were filled with water which immediately is turned to wine. (more…)

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The only patriots worth their salt are the ones who love their country enough to see that in a nuclear age it is not going to survive unless the world survives. True patriots are no longer champions of Democracy, Communism, or anything like that but champions of the Human Race. It is not the Homeland that they feel called on to defend at any cost but the planet Earth as Home. –Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking

Facebook has proven what I’ve always known. If all of my friends were in the same room, it would get ugly. We’ve all experienced the wrath of trolls and other internet creatures which emerge during discussions of politics, religion and money. While I’ve grown up with conflicting worlds–rural and urban, republican and democrat, poor and rich, and various ethnic combinations–many around me have not had the same experiences. They are surprised that I could be friends with “those people”. So anytime I post something remotely controversial…

So why do I still do it? I’ve always valued the public square. Maybe it’s because I was shy growing up, and enjoy the opportunity to speak. Maybe it’s because I learn so much more when others have a chance to speak. Some will counter that I should keep my opinions to myself and just take personal action if it’s that important to me. However, many important actions require group cooperation which necessitates a larger discussion before we are able to act together. (more…)

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