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Tag Archives: change

The Wise Exiles

18At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, 19and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king’s court. 20In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. 21And Daniel continued there until the first year of King Cyrus. (Daniel 1:18-21, NRSV)

So focusing on God made these men 10 times better than any other in the kingdom.

How would you change for the better if you focused on God?

 

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Semper Reformanda

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Church.

It was the beginning of the Reformation.

The change of the understanding of who we are as the body of Christ. Martin Luther did not want to start a new denomination, or break away from the church catholic. He wanted to reform areas he knew were not aligned with the Holy Scripture in practices of Dogma in the church. He wanted to change the practices to match what was said in the Bible. Radical!

And is this a bad thing? To be in line with the Bible? How many things do we do today that are not inline with the Holy Scripture?

Ecclesia semper reformanda est is a Latin phrase first used by Karl Barth in 1947 and it means “the church is always to be reformed.” Barth derived this from a saying of St. Augustine an early church father. It means that the church must always reexamine itself, in order to maintain purity in doctrine and in practice.

A variation by Barth on his own phrase is Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda. This means “the reformed church (is) always to be reformed”. Meaning our need for change or evaluation is never down.

We need to not be complacent in the way we do things, but always evaluating the best practice. We must be willing to follow Christ where He is leading us, regardless of where we have been, or if we see we need to do something differently. We need to always be focused on Christ and where He is leading us.

To help all of us do this we will be doing a rededication process here at St. John’s starting on Reformation Sunday.  We will individually look at our lives and as a whole we will rededicate our lives to Christ and commit to follow where He is leading us. We will reform ourselves to the body He has created us to be so we might truly be His hands and feet in this place, at this time.

 

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Jesus before Caiaphas

57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end.59Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” 62The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 63But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:57-68, NRSV)

The chief priest needed something so they could go to the Romans and have Jesus executed. But they had nothing and could get nothing.

And when Jesus told them the truth they saw it as the way to have him executed.

Jesus told them the truth and they heard what they wanted. Not love but hate. Hate fueled through the changes that were coming. Hate fueled by a need to keep things the way they are.

How do we avoid change because it is scary and is something we are not ready for?

If we always stay the same are we allowing God to work in and through our lives?

 

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The Lord is my Light and Salvation

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
4One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
6Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
(Psalm 27:1-6, NRSV)

No matter what happens in my life I will not fear. Because I know my God will always hide me in the shelter God has prepared for me.

God will conceal me in His tent and keep me from my enemies.

I will not fear for God is always with me and nothing can change that!

No matter what may come, I will rest in my God and I will not fear!

 

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Joy in Heaven When the Lost are Found

8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10, NRSV)

This parable is part of chapter 15 of Luke which is a out lost things that repent… or at least that seems to be the focus of the Prodigal Son. So if that is true how does a coin repent?

It says, “I promise I’ll change…”

But this story isn’t about the coin. It is about the woman. A woman who doesn’t rest until she finds what was lost. And that is exactly how God searches for us when we roll away. Tirelessly searching every where for us!

That is how much God loves you.

 

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The Resurrected Jesus Appears

36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence. 44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:36-49, NRSV)

Jesus appears to the disciples and eats fish so they know that he is not a ghost.

I mean what would you do. Simon Peter saw him and the 2 on the road saw him. But you didn’t see him and you know he was hung on a cross. How can he be standing in front of you now. It has to be a ghost. There is no way he is alive after being crucified.

Then he shows you his hands and the place where they put in the spear.

Can it be?

How has life changed forever?

 

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The Risen Jesus

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10, NRSV)

The first witnesses of the resurrection were women! Without women, we would not know of the resurrection!

The angel told the woman to see where Jesus had been and told them that he has risen as he had told everyone would happen. Now go and tell the disciples.

But who would believe the women? Jesus knew the disciples would meet him as he told them. But where does Jesus tell the disciples to meet him? The angel tells the women that he is going ahead of them to Galilee and he will see them there, and Jesus tells the women the same thing, but the disciples meet him on the mountain that he had directed them to, and where did this happen. And I’ve never been to Galilee so I’m not sure how big it is, but even telling someone go to Little Suamico and I’ll see you there, they would be like where in Little Suamico, while most people would be, where is Little Suamico?

But Jesus rose from the dead, the grave could not hold him. He met with the women, then he met with the disciples and he sends us all into the world to live as he did and to share his love. Believe it and it will change your life!

 

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