Thursday, October 20, 2016

The American Myth

Well it isn't entirely American, but it is bantered about as a matter of certainty that Americans are a good people. Its similar to the myth of the innocence of childhood. Clearly the 2-year old cherub smiling at their parents can't be all that bad. But every tantrum, every rude driver, and even the cultural references to "NY manners" reveal the ugly truth. We are only "good" sometimes, and even then not that good to most people. We often are only good for our own reasons. Its good to help the homeless, the hungry, and the downtrodden. But we often are good in our daily lives because we know our coworker will reciprocate, our spouse will do something special, or we know there is something we will get out of it, like a box of cookies for that cause. When the world claims we are all "good at heart", it is trying to convince itself that is true. Sometimes we succeed at telling ourselves that. But the truth is uglier - our best isn't enough, even for us. Only Christ can make a work a good work. Only His sacrifice can erase our guilt. Otherwise we try to convince ourselves we are good people. All the while feeling just a little dirty why doing so...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Training up a child

Many of you struggle with children, especially boys, who know what to do but just don't get it done. It is a problem in my household, and many of the usual suspects (too much TV and video games) just aren't present. I have been walking through Proverbs with my oldest son, and doing so has given us time together. It also opens the door to discussions on laziness, wisdom, self discipline and others. It has made a positive effect on him, and I plan to continue with Ecclesiastes. If it was good enough for Solomon to write down and to be included in the Cannon, then it is good enough to teach your children wisdom. They might very well be the only kids in the area with that training. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Christ is Risen!

Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is Risen! Our hope is in Christ conquering death and providing the sacrifice for our wretched sin. Gone is the sure death of hell. Those who die in the faith sleep for a while, then rise on the last day to be with their Lord. Those who rise without Christ do so on their own, and suffer the wrath of a God who provided all and was rejected. Praise to God for all He has done. Praise the Lord!

Friday, March 18, 2016

"We are all Jews here"

Fairly recently there was a series of articles where the phrase "We are all Jews here" was uttered by a POW US MSgt in order to protect the Jews in his command from the horrors of the Nazi death camps during the waning days of WW2. With Lent, the phrase seems to have a different meaning. During the first Lent, when Christ was flogged, beaten, tried, convicted, and killed, we were truly "all Jews" then. Our sins were just as cruel as the Israelis and Romans were while killing the Messiah. We certainly didn't cast a stone or speak a word, but still our rejection of Jesus was as complete as the Israeli people's at that time and place. After the wonderful miracle of Easter and the Resurrection, the phrase "we are all Jews here" doesn't have any meaning. The previously rejected Christ returns, bringing salvation to all people who have Faith. It is no longer just the Israelis that have God's Word, but all people. The only thing that eternally matters is "Child of God." The WW2 phrase saved lives in the horrors of world war. But it is the saving act of God that saves us for eternity.