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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The Race for Honors (Mark 9:30-37)

The Race for Honors (Mark 9:30-37)

So even when we win, even when we achieve our goal and get that thing we’ve always wanted, we still don’t have what we really desire or really need….a sense of security at the core of who we are, that we are loved no matter what honor we have or what honor we don’t. Honor is a Race we lose, even if we win, because to “win” the Race for Honors is to destroy all hope of love - love of myself, love of my neighbor, love of God - love, the very thing we’re craving in the first place.

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The Bloody Way (Luke 10:25-37)

The Bloody Way (Luke 10:25-37)

If I’m supposed to love my neighbor, like you say, if that’s how to build a better neighborhood, then…who exactly is that? Who exactly is this “neighbor”? It’s a great question. Because if I’m supposed to love this nameless faceless “neighbor” with the same passion and urgency and radical care that I love myself? I want to know who that “neighbor” is. Where do I focus this radical love?

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