Branches (John 15:12-15)

Branches (John 15:12-15)

This verse isn’t just about Jesus and me. It’s also about Jesus and we. We are supposed to experience the same kind of love in our life with Christ that Jesus experiences with the Father. That’s amazing. But we don’t know what God’s love looks like, feels like, should be like. So we’re given each other - branches all around us, weaving around us, to reflect God’s love for us.

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Hunt (Matthew 5:1-12)

Hunt (Matthew 5:1-12)

The trouble is...it’s not always clear in our culture what form that victimhood will take. We know we’re supposed to be suffering for Jesus. But for the most part, we’ve had it pretty good. So a lot of American Christians have started to look for ways that we’re being oppressed, that our values are being co-opted, that the world is out to get us. We’re supposed to be persecuted. So we imagine we are.

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Flames (Leviticus 19:1-2; 17-18)

Flames (Leviticus 19:1-2; 17-18)

Leviticus doesn’t beat around the bush. Rebuke your neighbor frankly. When you see there’s an issue, when you notice a fire, run towards it. Don’t run away from it. Run straight into it. Rebuke your neighbor frankly. Because here’s the thing. It’s natural - human - for us to have conflict in our lives. Conflict in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can be very, very good.

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The Worst Kind of Villain (Mark 14:42-52, 66-72)

The Worst Kind of Villain (Mark 14:42-52, 66-72)

Jesus never asked us to wallow in shame, to feel really, really bad about ourselves and carry the weight of it all on our shoulders for the rest of our lives. Jesus never asked us to give him an eye for an eye, to pay him back, because no amount of beating ourselves up or paying him back can undo the damage of our sin and no amount of hard work can merit God's forgiveness. Jesus does not ask you to die for your sin. He already did that.

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Fast. Pray. Love. (Mark 12:38-44)

Fast. Pray. Love. (Mark 12:38-44)

What would you think, if you were Jesus in that moment? What would you be feeling? Would you be pleased with what just happened? Would you encourage others to do the same thing? No. I don’t think Jesus was pleased with what she did. I think he looks at this system that has been oppressing the poor, and he sees the poor being oppressed one more time right in front of him, and I think he’s outraged.

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Method Acting (Mark 12:35-40)

Method Acting (Mark 12:35-40)

We so badly want to be like Jesus. We love who he is and what he represents. We love how he challenges the status quo and breaks social barriers and fights for what’s right. And we want to be like that. But we’re not Jesus. And that way of being doesn’t come naturally for us. So we settle for the next best thing. Method Acting. We stay in character always. But we never actually become.

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Snowflake (Matthew 1:1-16)

Snowflake (Matthew 1:1-16)

You can have your true self - the self with all its insecurities and struggles and joys and quirks. And then there’s the chiseled self, the perfect self, the self we wish we were. It’s the self that’s been edited, or cropped, or arranged in the way we think will make us seem the most attractive, or the most lovable, or get us the most acceptance, from those around us.

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