Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
God’s invitation is to come to a favoured place with Him where everything is ready. He is not inviting them to come wait around. There is a sense of God being ready to serve upon arrival.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This was a crowd that came to see a miracle. They had heard of Jesus’ wonderful power and hoped to see something happen. When the paralyzed man was lowered before Jesus, he looked at the man on the mat and spoke the most unusual words.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Jesus’ encountering people with this disease proved that a leper could change his spots. Imagine the public discomfort when this unclean man approached Jesus.
Do you remember a time as a child when you had an accident and wet or soiled yourself? Do you remember the teen angst of body odor or bad breath when you were trying to impress a ‘would be’ love interest?
At a much deeper level, many today know the feeling of trying to hide deep spiritual stains. All kinds of people feel dirty inside and wonder if they will ever be clean. Secret sin and shameful histories can lock people into believing that failure is stronger than mercy.
Special diets and health practices sometimes grow from a haunting awareness that our bodies are polluted. Some hold that a purer body will produce a purer spirit. This is a common religious ideal.
This man with a skin disease was socially marked and religiously judged as a very, unclean person. It was impossible for him to hide or pretend to be better.
What do you do when your uncleanness haunts you? Do you pretend to be healthier than you are? Have you been socially marked as a sick-o and live a life of public shame?
The man dropped to his knees. Luke says that he put his face to the ground. Humility is the best thing any of us can have when approaching Jesus for help. Because the man was alienated from the community and expected to declare his uncleanness when passing by, it would have been easy for him to become bitter and calloused. It would be easy to see himself as a freak and harden his heart towards the people he could not approach.
But the man dropped to his knees and spoke with respect to Jesus. “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
This was not a statement of doubt. He was not saying, “I doubt that you are able, but I’m going to ask just in case.”
This was a statement of faith. He knew that Jesus could make him clean. He did not presume or demand that Jesus act; he asks if the Lord is willing. “Jesus, I know you can do it. Will you do it for me?”
We learn something important about faith from this man. The lesson is this-- you should ask for help when you know that help is possible. And because we trust, we accept God’s right to choose what to do with us.
How many of us are aware of a stain or sickness in our life and hesitate to ask? When we reach a state of desperation in our lives, it then we have the potential of bowing in humility. Knowing that only God can help, we ask him to do what has proven impossible to us.
When asked if he was willing, Jesus compassionately responded in the affirmative. He spoke and the man was cleansed of his skin disease.
Now that the man had the unorthodox touch from the healer, he needed to take some steps to be fully restored to the community. His reputation as a leper met people before they could get close enough to see healthy skin.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
To be more accurate with the metaphor, they haven’t put the stinky baby in the bath water. The baby smells bad and they are happy that water has been conserved. Could we at least call for some balance and sponge bathe every day or so?
It’s true that body odour is the best mosquito repellent of all, but none of the stinkers I know live in a malarial swamp.
Isabella of Spain bragged that she had had only two baths in her life--one when she was born, and the other when she married Ferdinand. They gave her a third when she died.
There is a man in India who stopped bathing because he believes it will result in having a male child borne to his wife.
Of course there are people who go to the opposite extreme with cleaning. The thought of dirt and bacteria is terrifying to a germaphobe. They use hand sanitizer every hour and wear a mask in public to avoid catching diseases. They open doors with their feet and panic when someone else sneezes.
Getting Clean With Religion
Throughout history, most religions have developed cleansing rituals for purification. Hindus bathed in the Ganges River. Indigenous American tribes ridded themselves of impurity in saunas called sweat lodges. Catholics had holy water and most Christians still practice baptism.
The Jews of Jesus’ day and Muslims of today have laws and rituals involving cleansing.
It seems to be a common human experience to feel impure and want to be clean.
Friday, November 6, 2009
During the era known by this name, Europe emerged from the economic stagnation of the Middle Ages and experienced a time of financial growth. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the Renaissance was an age in which artistic, social, scientific, and political thought turned in new directions.
For fifteen years New Song Church has been a ministry of spiritual renaissance bringing the light of Jesus to darkened wanderers. We are a group of people committed to be advocates, family and mentors to the urban poor in Windsor, this region and beyond.
Though often mistaken for a street mission, New Song is first and foremost a church. We are a church with the heart of a mission. We have intentionally placed ourselves among the poorest and the least likely to make Jesus known.
We serve meals and distribute clothing like a mission, but always with a desire to walk alongside by providing a place of worship and friendship.
In the Old Testament Nehemiah was a prophet who stood and wept as he looked at the ruins of Jerusalem. He sought permission from the king to go and supervise the rebuilding of the old town. Through permission, community involvement, a lot of hard work and an unbending faith, it was rebuilt and restored to its greatness.
Community action and spirituality-- Windsor is a place where justice and mercy are poised to flow like a river. Consider how you can help us through donations, work teams and outreach. We need community partners, inspired individuals and understanding churches to share the journey with us.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Jesus demonstrated a strong work ethic, both as a carpenter, then in his ministry. The disciples were astounded by the Lord’s stamina to minister all day and pray through the night. People who succeed at Kingdom work are those who understand the work ethics required of servants.
A strong work ethic does not mean becoming a ‘workaholic’. Jesus also demonstrated his ability to rest while others laboured feverishly. He slept in the boat and did not give in to the temptation to help the disciples with the rowing. At times, He walked away from the demanding crowd. Competent leaders work hard and rest easy.
- ► 2016 (88)
- ► 2015 (104)
- ► 2014 (118)
- ► 2013 (115)
- ► 2012 (107)
- ► 2011 (118)
- ► 2010 (148)
- ▼ November (11)