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Praying is (not) like breathing

Psalm 112 Praying is like breathing.  Where breathing is essential to physical life, prayer is essential to our spiritual life. The time we spend with God in prayer shapes our souls.  (Philip Yancey makes a good case for this in his book on the subject.)  I think it works much the same way our human […]

Famous Last Words

Matthew 28:16-20 The last thing someone says is important, right? Case in point:  the end of Saving Private Ryan.  The movie follows a team of eight men as they try to bring a last surviving son home from WWII.  This is long before our time of instant communication, of course, so they have to physically […]

Out with the Old?

Acts 2:1-13 Well, as they say:  out with the old, in with the new! Isn’t that what happened on Pentecost?  Jesus is gone.  The disciples are all wondering what comes next.  Then the (new) Holy Spirit arrives, and all sorts of (new) things happen.  Sounds like wind; tongues like fire; speech that is translated without […]

Why Broken Bread?

Luke 24:13-35 This is a story of two apostles who saw the risen Jesus… but almost didn’t. They’re on the road to a town called Emmaus – a long walk from Jerusalem.  They’re upset and the walking isn’t distracting them from their worries.  When I’m upset, I want to talk and talk and talk about […]

Don’t Shove God in My Face

Acts 17:16-34 I don’t like it when God is shoved in my face. Once, as a freshman in college, I was innocently walking across campus when two girls appeared out of nowhere.  They must have said “hello” or something – I mean, surely – but all I remember is an abrupt and aggressive invitation to […]

What’s the point?

Acts 7:54-60 All week long I’ve struggled with the point of this passage.  What are we supposed to get out of this sad story? Maybe the point is that things don’t always go well for us Christians.  This seems like stating the obvious, but sometimes things do go so well that we come to expect […]

Better Together

Acts 2:42-47 Peter preached the first Christian sermon to the Pentecost crowd in Acts 2. He explained that Jesus was a man who did amazing things, a man they crucified but God raised up. The crowd responded by asking, “What do we do?” Peter told them to repent, to be baptized, to be forgiven, to […]