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Blog Posts containing "war on legalism"

Year C Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Grace understanding is about what faith is. It is not belief. Faith is the experience of the Presence of God’s grace in our life. The purpose of what Jesus told the disciples was to get them to pay attention to the faith they already had available to them. The disciples were right there with Jesus and were not open to the Presence of the grace of God. They, like us, cannot increase what unconditionally and inclusively is in all of us.  Read more


Year C Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, Lazarus mad it to Heaven and the rich man didn't. Why was Lazarus saved? What good did he do to deserve heaven? There is no evidence he was a believer. He may not have done anything evil, but he probably did not do much that was good. He did suffer much. Some Churches might say he did not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of making it to Heaven. Then why did Jesus have him make it?  Read more


Year C Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Literal thinking deals with what is written to discover how to think. Grace understanding deals with how to think to discover what is written. The literal starts with what it reads to discover the spiritual meaning. Grace starts with the spiritual feeling of being in the Presence before it starts to read. The Parable is about a rich man who finds his servant is cheating him of his profits. Jesus summarized the parable by saying, “I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into their eternal homes.” Some people are shocked because it seems as if Jesus is commending the shrewdness of the servant in cheating his master.   Read more


Year C Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Jesus was sharing with the sinners and tax collectors. They all drew near to hear Him. The Pharisees were off in a distance grumbling about Him. Jesus tells the three parables. Literal thinking sees the point of the parables is show the Love Jesus has for sinners. What was the real meaning of His parables? You have a lost sheep and the shepherd leaves the righteous ninety and nine to search other for the lost sheep. A woman loses her dowry. She may not be able to be married if she does not find the coin. She finds the lost coin and rejoices. Literally, we would think this was about the joy of having sinners repent. Wasn’t that what Jesus was supposed to be working with?  Read more


Year C Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Jesus challenged the difference the heart makes between the struggle of trying to literally justify the phrase in the head and the ease of understanding it gracefully. He keeps using His graceful language so that the literal mind will be so frustrated that it might suddenly shift and “come to itself” as the Prodigal Son did in the pig pen. (Luke 15:17 ESV)  Read more


Year C Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

“Be Humble,” is an interesting command. Did you ever try to do it? Jesus says, “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” If you faked your humbleness by sitting at the end of the table, would you be exalted?  Read more


Year C Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Jesus didn’t have the right to heal this woman just because it was the right thing to do. It was not. It broke the law. The rabbi had the right and duty to quote the Law, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. Why don’t you come back on a non Sabbath day and do your healing? Why pick on this sacred day to break the Fourth Commandment? Jesus had the right to heal on the Sabbath because He was because He was God. He had the authority to break this Commandment and any others He wished to break. As a matter of fact, He did not break any laws; He changed all of the Commandments and all the Laws and the Prophets.  Read more


Year C Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

The question of biblical authority is ultimately a question of Christology. What we believe about Jesus will ultimately determine what we believe about the Bible. There are two ways of discerning what we believe about Jesus in Scripture. We can come in with our minds made up about the Bible being the Word of God, or we can believe Jesus is the Word of God. If we believe the Bible is the Word of God than Jesus must fit into our concept of who the Bible says He is. If we believe Jesus is the Word of God then the Bible must fit into what He says it is.  Read more


Year C Twelfth Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

In today’s Scripture, Jesus tells us not to “be afraid for God has given us His Kingdom”, which is His Presence within us. We are told to sell all our possessions. Literally, we think of selling the material things we possess. Let us get beyond the literal thinking of material things to the things we possess spiritually. They are much more significant.  Read more


Year C Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost Meditation

Today’s lesson is an excellent illustration of Jesus' way of grace. The teaching is to know the difference being in or out of His Presence can make. Here are two brothers who are out of the Presence. They have become angry, greedy and bitter. Why did Jesus not give fair judgment to the two brothers? The answer was to either change the inheritance or not change it. Regardless of which was chosen, one would be happy and the other would remain a bitter, angry victim the rest of their life. So why did he answer the way he did?  Read more


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