Taking God into Account

The story of Samuel’s calling by God from the Old Testament frequently defines how we view God speaking to us, but it also presents challenges. A crystal clear interaction, such as this, is rare, even in the Bible. Samuel’s call meant speaking against the person...
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Be Careful What You Ask For

When a child is born, we wonder and dream about what they could become, but only God knows. When Jesus was born, God gave Simeon and Anna unique vision to know that this was the promised Messiah. They offer blessings over the child and thanksgiving to God; Mary and Joseph offer...
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He Has Made the Ordinary Holy

For readers of the Bible, the Old Testament establishes a pattern of God acting through unexpected protagonists. This pattern finds its pinnacle in the New Testament accounts of Mary being chosen as the mother of Jesus. The Magnificat, Mary’s response to the angel’s...
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When Defeat Becomes a Doorway

This week, we mark the third Sunday of Advent and light the candle of love. In this week’s scripture passage, God anoints Isaiah “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the...
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Facing Life As It Is

Last week, Vernon wrote in the weekly blog that God doesn’t come to us in the ways that we expect. The first step in accepting this is to set aside preconceived notions and accept that surrendering the control we believe we maintain over our lives will occasionally result...
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Trying to Get Our Own Way

This Sunday, we begin the Advent season of waiting for the promised Messiah. The first Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of hope. This week’s passage from Isaiah brings us a lament about a people in dire need of hope. They feel distant from God, but as Vernon writes,...
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The Servant King

This week is Christ the King Sunday. This week’s scripture reminds us that Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies, but not as anyone expected. Then, as now, people held preconceived notions about the behavior of kings and people in power. Jesus defied them all. This week,...
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What if These Are Words of Love?

The Parable of the Talents can make readers uneasy. It can leave us with an unsettling aftertaste of a vengeful God that doesn’t square up to the image of the loving God in which we profess our faith. So what’s the rub? Do assumptions cloud our ability to find any...
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Doors for the Word

As we approach the holiday, we consider the practical meaning of the word “thanksgiving”. It appears many times in scripture, including this week’s passage from Colossians. How do we differentiate the Christian and secular forms of “thanksgiving”?...
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A Glimpse Beyond What We ‘Know’

The book of Revelation intimidates many who attempt to interpret and understand its possible meanings. We try our best to deduce what the imagery described symbolizes. As Vernon writes, in doing so, we risk losing the power of the experience the vision evokes. If we consider our...
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