Tag Archives: power

The Need to Subvert Power

subvert power

Epiphany of the Lord: Matthew 2:1-12

The account of the Magi has morphed over the years in its place within our Christmas celebration. Nativity scenes often include three kingly characters even though none of this is found in the story. This simple account has taken on so much extra that it’s easy to skip over the significant character of Herod. He deceitfully pretends to want to join them in worship as he demands this group of magicians to, “tell me when you have found him”. They ultimately use their power to subvert Herod’s.

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Jesus and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

minimum sentencing

26th Sunday after Pentecost: John 18:33-37

John 18 describes the arrest of Jesus and the beginning of his trial. This text focuses on the conversation between Pilate and Jesus. Before this Pilate is trying to get off the hook because it’s obvious the charges against Jesus are exaggerated. When he agrees to proceed, it’s clear that this trial will result in an ancient version of mandatory minimum sentencing.

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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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Generosity of the Poor

generosity of the poor

24th Sunday after Pentecost: Mark 12:38-44

God doesn’t need us to be God’s venture capitalist. Maybe that’s so obvious as to be comical. On the other hand, some may see their acts of charity as crucial in the grand scheme of things. The rich might go so far as to publicly deride the generosity of the poor for their inability to do much financial good with their meager donations. That contrast is the point of this lesson.

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Jesus, Have Mercy on Me!

Have mercy!

22nd Sunday after Pentecost: Mark 10:46-52

The sad truth is, often you have to be your own advocate. Even when people can see the issue you’re facing, even when they can see the turmoil you’re in, they still might not care. The good news is, we can all approach God with our need. As I wrote in Approach the Throne of Grace with Boldness, God welcomes us. People might not take the time to know our struggle, and some people, once they know, might not care. Sometimes, as we see in this story, the powerful try to silence those in need.

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Seize the Day or Who’s the Greatest Remix

greatest

21st Sunday after Pentecost: Mark 10:35-45

The disciples are once again discussing who gets to be the greatest. Not long before this, Mark 9 describes a conversation where Jesus is telling the disciples about the persecution he will face and at that time the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest. Right before this interaction, Jesus tells them he will be handed over to be killed. This request is their response.

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