“The New King”

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So Solomon has big shoes to fill. And a big job to do.
What kind of king will he be?
One answer is that after his father died, Solomon sat on David’s throne, married a beautiful princess from a neighboring kingdom, and settled in to rule the people of God. It sounds like a fairytale!

“The Bread”

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So why does Jesus talk about bread?
Well, if Fisher is right, he uses bread as a way of talking about our hungers and about God’s love. He is saying that he came down from heaven to show that love, to satisfy that hunger, not in some abstract way that touches only spirit or intellect, but in the tangible way that bread fills us, body and soul.

“The Prisoner”

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Instead his thoughts turn outward and upward. He is almost laughing as he shares with the Ephesians about a God who has …
blessed them with gifts;
called them to unity; and
given them a job to do.

“Remember”

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So Paul is drawing on powerful images when he talks about how Christ “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”
Specifically, he is asking the congregation in Ephesus to remember.
Not the shiny, happy, crafty, scrapbook type of memory,
but rather the jagged, jarring, jaundiced sort of memory that we’d prefer to forget.

“Why?”

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And yet “why?” is the question we want answered! Why does Herod kill John? Why does God allow his son’s forerunner to die? Why does John join a long list of the faithful to suffer?
Like Kushner, my most truthful answer is, “I don’t know.”
But there are some answers we do have:

“Failure”

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So, how do you respond to rejection, to failure, to a vote of no confidence?
Some might try and win over their doubters.
Some might play it safe.
Some might try to stack the deck in their favor.
What does Jesus do? He gives his disciples a flesh and blood and soul deep lesson:

“Conflicted Times”

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In short, the community to whom Mark wrote was conflicted. The Roman government was killing their brothers and sisters and crushing places where they had experienced God, but they were free. They honestly did not know what to do. Do you keep your head down or speak out?

“In the Storm”

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Mark’s gospel for today seems intent on reminding the faithful about the reality of storms, the need for life preservers, and the power of God.
So what is it about storms that make us stop and take notice?
Is it the raw power?
Is it the beauty?
Is it the danger?

“Don’t Hold the Mustard”

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No other gospel writer has this story. Probably because an editor argued that it was silly.
Here’s how I imagine that conversation going:
Substitute a tree, he suggested. Something majestic! Something awe-inspiring!

“One Simple Word”

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With one simple word you can dismiss a person’s words, undercut their protests, question their insights, or slander their name. With one word you can label them as a misfit, a rebel, a daydreamer. Or worse: delusional, feebleminded, or incompetent.
All you have to do is call them … crazy!