“Any excuse”

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Luke has us now. We are in the edge of our seats. We are primed for a surprise, for a spectacular catch, for something!
What we get is part love story, part mystery.

“Grace is …”

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Grace is amazing!
But Jesus does not stop there … and neither does Luke.
It turns out that grace is (also) repulsive!
Let me explain.

“The Word Abides”

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Perhaps the most striking thing about this hymn is John’s description of Jesus, not just as light in the darkness, but as the Word – a word uttered before all creation began, a word whispered to bring in creation, a word become flesh so we might hear it, see it, touch it.

“Water into Wine”

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“If Advent is about waiting for the promised visit [of God made flesh], Epiphany is about the grand expectations that come after the visitor has arrived.” So, this sign, this turning of water into wine at a wedding in Cana, is a revelation about …
the nature of God;
the character of Jesus; and
the role of his mother.

“Baptismal memories”

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I was in over my head when my pager roused me from sleep in the middle of the night with a call from the NICU – a baby had been born, there were medical complications, it would not survive ‘til morning, and the parents were requesting a chaplain. It turns out they wanted their baby baptized right away!
I can’t say what drove their request.

“Traveling Mercies”

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So what drives people to leave one spot and hit the road?
Curiosity or opportunity;
adventure or rootlessness;
hope or fear.
Whatever it is, it comes down to this:
the belief that where you are going is better than the place you are leaving.

“Singing in the Dark”

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I wonder if Mary’s song is like that piece of gravel. Is it small, dull, and unremarkable in the glare of Broadway lights, or the investigative spotlight, or under a happy sun? Is it just a tangle of words and a jumble of notes? Is it no more than a teenager’s emotional outburst?

“A song of Blessing”

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If you had nine months to think, to pray, to listen, and to rehearse, what do you think your first word might be?
Zechariah is so full of the Spirit that simple prose is not enough; he must sing! And “Blessed!” is the first word of that song.

“Light in the darkness”

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Every year Christians celebrate Advent. Every year we make a conscious decision to spend this season of light sitting in the dark – but it is not complete darkness:

“Do you recognize this King?”

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The Emperor expected to be worshipped. He demanded loyalty. Any devotion to Jesus was not welcome and would be brutally suppressed, punished, and rooted out!
So you can see why kings prompted more nightmares than daydreams.
And yet, John begins his letter to the seven churches with a vision, a daydream if you will, about a very different kind of king.