We Need More Pearls!

The Torah’s good neighbor policy (Deuteronomy 22:1-4) was about more than simply making sure everyone’s lost ox, sheep, cloak, or “anything else” (see v. 3) found its way back to it owner. It was about cultivating community. Lost animals or objects simply provided opportunities for relationships to be enhanced and grown. Not everyone would lookContinue reading “We Need More Pearls!”

Loving in Adversity

Matthew 24 concerns the difficult days prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (v. 15-20, 24). Jesus speaks of political turmoil, famines, earthquakes and persecution that will result in some losing their faith so that they “will betray and hate each other” (v. 10). He then states that “Because of the increase ofContinue reading “Loving in Adversity”

Going Viral With Community

In Mark 9:30-31, Jesus told His disciples about His upcoming death and resurrection (9:30-31). They didn’t grasp what He was saying but “’were afraid to ask Him about it” (v. 32). Unfortunately, they did not show the same reticence in regard to arguing among themselves about “who was the greatest” in the kingdom (v. 34).Continue reading “Going Viral With Community”

Ritual And Community

The Passover was a meal to be observed in community.  Although it was originally taken as a household, everyone did it at the same time and in the same time (Exodus 12:46-47,6,8).  Later when Israel had settled in the land, everyone journeyed to Jerusalem in order to celebrate it as a nation (Deuteronomy 16:1-7). It was aContinue reading “Ritual And Community”

Sherlock Holmes and the Rich Life

I recently re-watched the BBC series Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first time. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea as the Brits would say, but this time through I paid closer attention to the relational dynamics. The first time around I hadContinue reading “Sherlock Holmes and the Rich Life”

Who is on Your Road?

When Jesus told the story of the Samaritan, His immediate purpose was to provide an answer to the disingenuously posed question, “Who is my neighbor?”  (Luke 10:29). The expert in the law (v. 25), was seeking to have his indifference toward others excused on the grounds that neighbor was too ambiguous of a term. It couldn’t beContinue reading “Who is on Your Road?”

To Judge or not to Judge?

“Don’t judge!” As much as anything else, this has been our culture’s mantra for last generation. We’re so emphatic about it that I saw a meme of a little girl pointing an accusing finger at Santa Claus and saying, “Naughty or nice, huh? STOP JUDGING ME!” Even Santa has been taken down by popular culture.Continue reading “To Judge or not to Judge?”

Thinking about our Feelings

The discussion in the marriage class was about learning how to make our emotions work for us rather than against us. Dealing with our feelings as individuals is challenging enough, but when you are working as a couple toward oneness, things can really become complicated. Here are some principles to build from. 1. Feeling areContinue reading “Thinking about our Feelings”

Thinking about Community (2)

In the movie Places in the Heart, Moses Hadnot is a drifter who has heroically oversees Edna Spalding’s farm through the planting and harvesting of a cotton crop during the Depression. Shortly after the cotton is taken to the gin, members of the Ku Klux Klan pay him a visit and he is badly beaten. The attackContinue reading “Thinking about Community (2)”