Tag Archives: love

I Will Make You… Fishers of Men?

fishers of men

I’ve heard the story in Luke 5:1-11 most of my life, as far back as pre-K, in Sunday School. This is where Jesus tells Peter to put his nets back in the water after a night of unsuccessful fishing. Peter then gets the biggest catch he’s ever pulled in. At the end of this interaction, Jesus says, from now on you will be catching people. This story is a children’s Sunday School favorite. It’s easy to turn into pictures. Someone even turned it into a catchy children’s song, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…if you follow meeeeee.” Jesus makes a side comment to one guy and it got turned into bad theology, that we peddle to toddlers.

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The Greatest of These is Love

love chapter

In Paul’s famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, he’s writing to a group of people who are having multiple disagreements and divisions. This snippet of Paul’s letter has become the focus of poems, cards, and wedding ceremonies, so the context can easily get lost in all the sentimentality. Although it’s often called “the love chapter” only a few verses in the middle get the focus.

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Nerve Damage in the Body of Christ

body of Christ

3rd Sunday after the Epiphany; 1 Cor. 12:12-31

 If there’s one word that describes the Christian church the least, it would be the noun “unity.” This unfortunate reality seems to stretch all the way back to the earliest iteration of the Christian church. This lack of unity is the basis for Paul’s well-known metaphor, that the church is like one body. He creates a picture in which everyone can relate because we all have bodies. He’s appealing to them to see their relatedness because the Corinthian church had a variety of divisions.

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Appeal of the Early Church: Love and Relationships

love and relationship

1st Sunday of Advent: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

The text I’m writing about today is from 1 Thessalonians, which is most likely the first of any of Paul’s correspondence with the early churches. This reading isn’t a list of generic instructions or theological topics, but rather Paul telling this church how much he wants to visit them. He’s also encouraging them to let their love for each other grow.

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Encourage Each Other Toward Love

encourage each other

25th Sunday after Pentecost: Hebrews 10:11-14, 15-18, 19-25

Chapter 10 of the book of Hebrews has a lot packed into it. This text explains the significance of the crucifixion of Christ and how that event brings about the forgiveness of sins. It’s also a call for love and encouragement. Rather than being used to encourage others, it has been used by church leaders to hold people “accountable” for their perceived sins.

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Armor, really?

armor, really?

13th Sun after Pentecost: Ephesians 6:10-20

This Biblical passage is quoted often. This encouragement has inspired many sermons, children’s costumes, and for some a prayer practice of mentally putting on the armor. It seems like we gravitate to these instructions in America, because they imply a sentiment of war or striking back. The individual-centric picture of putting on armor is attractive to independent people.

I feel like the imagery of this text is often remembered out of context. This has fueled a false picture of Christianity as one where throughout history we have justified warring against unbelievers (and believers who disagree with us)—a dangerous premise that has cost the lives of many people whom God also loves. Continue reading

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