At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The chief reason why we celebrate his birth is because of what he did as an adult, not as a baby or child. There are millions of birth dates our nation does not remember, although every newborn is lovely and cuddly. Yet we celebrate the births of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King because of what they accomplished in their adult lives.
Perhaps you have heard the ancient maxim about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, often attributed to Augustine: “The New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.” The unity of the two Testaments is upheld through typology, which discerns in God’s works of the Old Testament prefigurations of what He accomplished in the fullness of time in the Person of His incarnate Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. It has been said that the best way to study the Bible is to “look for Jesus.”
Once upon a time, a community greatly benefited from the heroic and unselfish act of one of its citizens.
s we approach this year’s Thanksgiving, the old song about this time of year that for most of my life didn’t seem to fit might actually apply this year. You know the song with its words, “Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go ...” This year we might actually have snow — doubtfully enough for a horse-drawn sleigh or that many of us have those any more, but the early snow might put us in more of a mood for Thanksgiving.
I’m on journal No. 139, which means I’ve been at it a long time. My journal is my friend, my confidant, my confessor, the one who reflects back so I can see who I am. Needless to say, it is for my eyes only.
I remember the first time I used a jackhammer. I was a pretty excited 15 year old who was given the distinct honor of using the massive 90 pound tool even though there were many more experienced individuals on the job. Oddly, they were happy to allow me to take the best job. Before long, I found out why.
A rather strange fact of human life is the weekly cycle. Where did it come from?
Today is a special moment for Jewish people. Today we emerge from the intense period of introspection that lasted 10 days from Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) to Saturday’s Yom Kippur (the Day of Repentance), and we now move into a week focusing on the complex impermanence of our existence. We do this through our celebration of the holiday of Sukkot.
We call it a book, but in reality it is not a book; it is a collection of 66 books and letters under one cover. The book is the Holy Bible. It has been cussed and discussed down through the centuries, and even today. It has been condemned, burned and has been forbidden to be read — even under penalty of death.
We like to think we are in control of our lives, but reality keeps reminding us otherwise.
Some things can be difficult to explain. It’s hard to describe color to one who was born blind, or the size of the ocean to one who has never seen it. Just as daunting is the attempt to explain the experience of knowing God’s love to one who has never received it, especially when His love is infinitely beyond the ocean and is impossible to measure
More than once when I’ve been reading Romans 10:2 I’ve been struck by what it says: “I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened.” That’s amazing and wonderful, because I keep running into zealous people who are ignorant of the gospel.
Ever since moving to Walla Walla almost 12 years ago, Labor Day Weekend with the fair and rodeo has been something I have looked forward to. It’s a great weekend. It is a time to reconnect with people and parts of our community. Among the things I look forward to seeing are the 4-H and school exhibits, people’s great photography and hand work.
Last October I toured privately in Israel. I entered the West Bank twice, using two very talented Palestinian guides. One of the Palestinians was born into a Christian family near the border of Lebanon. He showed me on his smartphone what Islamic terrorists in Syria were currently posting. The image was of a teenage Christian Syrian girl. They declared that she had been raped and cut with knives.
Kindness is like a soothing ointment that softens and heals broken hearts and troubled lives. Surely, all of us have been the beneficiary of the kindness of others. That kindness is most welcome when we are tired, frustrated, hurt or alone – especially when we experience those emotions from the hurtful actions of others.
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