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Showing posts from January, 2016

He Doesn't Have to Be Jesus

" Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS 4 " by New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Albertin, Walter, photographer. - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. . Licensed under Public Domain via  Wikimedia Commons . I'm familiar with a certain type of conversation around Martin Luther King, Jr.  When he's being noted or praised, one or more people in the conversation will decide to mention that MLK, Jr cheated on his wife or plagiarized parts of this thesis or committed this kind of crime or that. Keep in mind the conversation was never about whether we should add him to the Trinity or the Pantheon or what-have-you. Yet, in the conversation, there seems to be the need to shine a spotlight on MLK, Jr.'s flaws.  It is also characteristic of this conversation to note "If he hadn't been martyred, he wouldn't be

Affirmation of Baptism for Epiphany

I ask you to acknowledge the gift of faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church. Do you say no to external spiritual forces that defy God and attempt to disrupt the presence of love in the world? Response: I forcefully say no to them. Do you say no to lies that are told about God, including ones that perpetuate fear, scarcity, and control? Response : I forcefully say no to them. Do you say no to sin, that is, actions that cause you feel far from God and God’s love? Response : I forcefully say no to it. Do you believe in God, the ground and source of your being? I believe in the eternal love that is God, creating, redeeming, and healing. God’s grace is greater than anything that opposes it. Neither the will of the flesh, the twists of the mind, or the efforts of evil can bring lasting destruction where God is working for good. Eternal love, which is God’s ultimate manifestation, bears all things. All time exists wit

Baptism of Our Lord (Year C)

What is the proper motivation for baptism? - tradition - fear of hell - desire for salvation - to please someone else - to dedicate your life (or the life of your child) to God - a response to irresistible grace             Why did Jesus get baptized? Luke has already made it clear with the beginning of his gospel account that John and Jesus are on parallel, if not exactly similar tracks. This passage is where the tracks diverge. John is aware that he is not the Messiah.             However, Jesus does not seem to be aware that he (Jesus) is the Messiah. John’s proclamation of the One who is to come, who will separate the useful part of God’s harvest from the wasteful part… Jesus does not leap up and say, “Yes, and the day is at hand!” John calls out the leader of the people on his immoral behavior and is imprisoned for it.             Luke seems to organize the story this way so that we cannot say for sure who baptized Jesus. If John was in prison, he didn’

Psalm 29 for Alaskans.

Give credit to the Lord for all power, all glory, and all strength. Give the Lord worship that is holy and beautiful, a response to God’s glory. The voice of the Lord roars across the oceans and whispers in the streams. The voice of the Lord is strong and gorgeous. The voice of the Lord bends the spruce and snaps the birches. The voice of the Lord stirs the bear and leads the salmon. The Lord makes the people of the land to skip like moose calves And the people of the water to frolic like seal pups. The voice of the Lord bursts forth like a river relieved of an ice dam. The voice of the Lord shakes the bases of the Alaska range. The voice of the Lord rumbles, stirring molten rock And all around God’s throne shout, “Hallelujah!”. The Lord resides above the tumult, yet sees everything. The Lord reigns forever. O Lord, give strength to your servants; O Lord, give them the blessings of peace