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Showing posts from March, 2019

Job 13, RJV (Reblog)

Originally written for and posted on 3/22/19.  Job 13, Revised Julia Version  Look, I have heard everything you are telling me, “friends”, And your words aren’t new to me. I have the same information that you do; And, frankly, you’re not offering different or better interpretation. I want to speak directly to the Almighty and take up this injustice in  that  conversation.  Y’all… you are looking at my situation and Basically talking out of your rear ends. You’ve got nothing. If you were just quiet, just grieved with me, that would actually a true help, Not whatever it is you’re doing now. Listen real carefully to me now: Is it better to be quiet or To speak about God and turn out to have lied? Unless you are defending the Divine by speaking about Holy Prerogative And Holy Mystery and our own smallness and trust in Holy Grace, it is better to hush up. Do you think God is going to own everything you’ve decided is true about t

Baptismal Service Commentary, Part 1

The following is the Service of Holy Baptism from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress, 2019). The text is black from that service. The blue text is my commentary on the service. Same with the green. This entry takes us through the first half of the baptismal service, prior to the act of baptizing.  PRESENTATION God, who is rich in mercy and love, gives us a new birth into a living hope through the sacrament of baptism. By water and the Word God delivers us from sin and death and raises us to new life in Jesus Christ. We are united with all the baptized in the one body of Christ, anointed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and joined in God's mission for the life of the world. This is when the family members of the person to be baptized, infant or adult, come forward with the candidate for baptism. Notice that the presentation, as an invitation, explains what baptism is. This explanation does not mention hell. In Lutheran understanding, the defeat of hell has

Taking Stock

Lent is an invitational season. We are invited into deeper discipline, longer reflection, more community time, and to pay greater attention to Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, the cross, and the resurrection. It's good time to take stock of our commitment to the First Commandment: "You are to have no other gods before me." Note here that God isn't saying that there are not other gods. Instead, the Creator is saying, "I'm first. You are to fear, love, and trust Me above all else." There are little gods all around us. If we did an audit of our time, energy, and expenditures, would someone who didn't know us be able to tell that God was our priority, that we placed the Holy Divine above all else? Lent invites us into this spiritual audit, an examination of thoughts, words, and deeds. We have a season in which we can change our habits so that our bottom line is truly more reflective of our priorities. I encourage you, with the help of the Holy Sp

Getting Ready for Lenten Discipline

Some Christian traditions observe the season of Lent and some do not.  Lent is a six- week period before Easter, wherein churches that observe the season focus on 1) Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and the cross, 2) preparation for baptism or renewal of baptismal vows, and 3) corrective spiritual discipline with a prayer toward increased faith and deepened trust in God.  Sometimes when people think about spiritual disciplines for Lent, they think "giving things up"- a setting aside of something enjoyable for a season of deprivation (only to resume the habit or activity at Easter). The purpose of spiritual discipline isn't (usually) deprivation, but instead an exercise to make one stronger in internal and external faith demonstration. We should be setting aside things that cause us to feel separated from Christ and/or taking up actions or practices that help us to connect with the Ground and Source of our Being.  For most of us, chocolate is not getting betwe