A Childlike Fascination

December 30, 2012 – Luke 2:41-51 – Clay Morrison

Consider Jesus: The High Priest of our Confession

December 23, 2012 – Hebrews 3:1-6 – David Hanke

An Open Door

On Sunday, David shared these words from his fraternity brother: “This Advent as I look at our nativity scene and I see Mary and Joseph looking down at an empty manger (cause we don’t put the baby in until Christmas), I’ll be reminded of parents in Connecticut and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and Mexico and Bolivia, and on Christmas when we place the nino in the hay, I’ll be reminded of Good Friday.  And I still won’t understand evil and absurd suffering, but I’ll be grateful for a God as beautiful and as vulnerable and ultimately as horrifically touched by violence as every smiling child that strapped on a backpack, kissed mom and dad, and headed off to Sandy Hook Elementary yesterday.”

These words open the door as a reminder to me of all the unquantifiable evils in and across the world,  and I am striving to cling tightly to some truths about God and the world that we will be singing this coming Sunday.

Wait on the Lord, O my soul.
For he is beautiful and good
He’s the lover of all men
He has rescued us before
He will rescue us again
He is faithful and true
He is loving and just
Surely he will deliver us.

Come thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

…and from last week

Land me safe on Canaan’s side
Bid my anxious fear, bid my anxious fear

– Matt



Consider Jesus: He was made like us in every way

December 16, 2012 – Hebrews 2:14-18 – David Hanke

Worship and War

Erin Bair and I like to dialogue about cool stuff we are reading, and she sent me this quote by Alexander Schmemann: “If secularism in theological terms is a heresy, it is primarily a heresy about man. It is the negation of man as a worshiping being, as homo adorans: the one for whom worship is the essential act which both ‘posits’ his humanity and fulfills it.”

I look at this man from Damascus, and I ask, “How do I worship God in the midst of this?”  All I can see is my son Roman and this horrific desperation, and it doesn’t make any sense to me (probably due to the freedoms that I take for granted).  If Schmemann says that worship is “the essential act which both ‘posits’ his humanity and fulfills it,” then I struggle with how worship exists in the midst of war with the amount of dehumanization that needs to occur to cope with the violence that is committed.

As I have studied war these past three months, I have felt like less of a man, and I think it’s because I have had such a hard time figuring out how to worship God in the midst of these studies. If our humanity is so intensely tied to worshiping, then war, though I think horrifically necessary at times, can push us into a place of having to surrender our own humanity and that of others.

In his humanity, I so admire Jesus’ instruction for Peter to holster his sword. Jesus engaged deeply in the emotional, physical, and spiritual pain that was his in the Passion. He did not divorce himself from any other part of himself. Somehow in the midst of his commitment and sacrifice, there was worship. In his willingness to be sacrificed, there was beauty. I don’t understand it, yet, as was shared on Sunday, his very response to suffering is incarnation – to be manifest in his entirety.

“By Thy Mercy, O Deliver us, Good Lord.”

For Sunday’s songs: http://restorationmusic.wordpress.com/

– Matthew Hoppe

Consider Jesus: He tasted death for everyone

December 9, 2012 – Hebrews 2:5-9 – David Hanke

Consider Jesus: The Exact Imprint of His Nature

December 2, 2012 – Hebrews 1:1-4 – David Hanke

Fight Clean and Forgive Fast

November 25, 2012 – Colossians 3:12-17 – David Hanke

November 25, 2012

Fight Clean and Forgive Fast – Colossians 3:12-17 – David Hanke

November 18, 2012

Sex and Prayer – 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 – David Hanke

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