This is the Advent devotional I wrote for the FOCUS churches this year. It had to be based on a particular Scripture lesson (Matthew 22:34-46), be of a certain length, and end with a prayer. For your convenience, I’ve followed the piece with the Scripture.
In the Scripture lesson, Jesus is being tested theologically. The religious leadership of the day is constantly trying to trip Him up, asking a bunch of questions. What IS the greatest commandment? To love God, and likewise, to love each other.
We are often tested trying to follow these dictates. Sure we may see ourselves as “good” and “nice” people. Maybe we go to church, quote Scripture. Do we REALLY love God with all our heart, mind, and soul? I think God knows that a mysterious and disembodied deity may be sometimes difficult to comprehend.
Continue reading Loving with your whole heart is not easy
A few weeks back, one of our pastors gave this great sermon. She started by asking the congregation to play that game whereby you invite three people, living or dead, to a dinner party. We were to share our picks with people sitting near us.
The pastor then said that most of us church folks probably had Jesus on the list, and the congregation murmured in agreement. But do we REALLY want Jesus at our soiree? Because He could be quite annoying.
Look at some examples: one woman, Martha, puts on a nice meal, yet Jesus sides with lazy Mary who is just hanging out listening to Him. At a fancy gala, Jesus allowed “that woman” to wash his feet – with her hair? He ate with sinners, including those tax collectors, who were ALWAYS ripping off people. Not to mention his last dinner where, by the end of the night, he had been denied, betrayed and taken off to prison.
I saw this story – don’t know if it’s apocryphal or factual Continue reading Jesus would make a lousy dinner guest