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Understanding Easter

Even as we consider all the facts, the basic story that emerges is quite simple. The disciples were re-born while they lived with Jesus, and his death neither deterred nor discouraged them.  Instead, they turned to one another and embraced, fully aware in their hearts that he was not only still with them, but also that the newness he embodied embraced the universe. This was the bedrock of their faith and forms the foundation for the day we call Easter.

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Christmas for Adults: When Jesus Isn’t the Reason for the Season

Jesus is, in fact, no longer the reason for the season. But the reason this is so extends far beyond the cultural and commercial contamination of a quaint old tale.

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Christmas

The Christmas story is one of comfort and sweetness, if you will allow me that word. But we must not become so enamored by the Silent Night that we miss the revolutionary impact of the imagery. God appears in the poor places on earth and not in the councils of the rich and powerful.

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Free for Advent: “The First Christmas” with John Dominic Crossan

FaithandReason® is bringing you a 4-part “Advent Podcast Series” with special guest John Dominic Crossan! Once a week for the next four weeks, we will interview Dr. Crossan about “The First Christmas,” the book by Crossan and the late Marcus Borg.

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Wisdom Calls

Wisdom is paying attention while refraining from the assumption that you understand everything about what you are observing.  Indeed, in order to pay full attention, we must release our grasp on what we do know, so that we make room in our hearts and minds for further knowledge. 

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The Place of Faith and its Relationship to Science

Some people are highly devotional because it is scary having one’s paradigm shattered. This is to be exposed to the chaos of one’s own mind (the devil!). It is much easier to cling to the established artifacts of one’s own thinking then to fall into the pit of chaos. Most people would rather die than admit that the belief system/paradigm that they have carried most or all their life is wrong in spite of proof of error time and time again.

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What Ancient Thinkers Can Teach Us About the Human – Divine Relationship

The framework of ancient virtue theory, with its emphasis on character and the life of each human being as a whole, also formed a backdrop for the Synoptic Gospels. It is against this background that the figure of Jesus can be analyzed as an exemplar of the ideal moral person.

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The Miracle of Easter

Traditional Christianity has missed the point of the Easter story.  The miracle on Easter wasn’t that Jesus was physically or spiritually raised to sit at God’s right hand until he could one day return to judge humanity.  The miracle was his followers recognizing that they could continue to proclaim the message of God’s Reign on this earth even once Jesus had been crucified.

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Christmas Now and Then

If we pay attention, the Christmas story is a mirror held up for us to see that we live in a country where the government locks thousands of migrant children into dog cages, sexually abusing some, torturing others, and allowing many to die while the church is largely compliant and silent. And we seriously wonder if this government might actually win election approval from poor church goers in a few months. Merry Christmas?

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Making Room for a Savior

“Jesus heals not only us as individuals but a savior has been born, one who will heal the world from all its ills.”

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The Poor Need Money, Not Congratulations

I have never liked Luke 6:20, which says “Congratulations, you poor!” in newer translations. I think that’s demeaning.

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The Liberating Birth of Jesus: A Birth Story Able to Reverse Our Planet’s Perils

What? The birth of Jesus as told in the gospels is not the same story as the “Christmas story” in holiday celebrations? No, and this book explains why. They exist in two different worldviews. The gospels thrive in the creation worldview, but the Christmas story was born in empire’s worldview.

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Was Jesus’ Ministry One or Three Years?

I’ve always heard that Jesus’ ministry was three years long. Now I hear that it was only one year. How does something like that change?

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Lambs Among Wolves – Luke 10:1-16

What we know about the gospel-storyteller that we call Luke is that he wrote close to the end of the first century. Some 50 to 60 years after the life of Jesus of Nazareth; a time when the full force of the mighty Roman Empire was being brought to bear upon the Jewish people and upon the followers of Jesus’ Way of being in the world.

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Demons or Baggage: Stop and Listen – a sermon Luke 8:26-39

To this day, when I’m weary from battles with my own demons if I’m able to simply stop, to stop just for a few moments and listen, sometimes the still small voice speaks to me.

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TeenText Middle School Luke Study: Charlie Brown Christmas

This four week ADVENT curriculum breaks the TeenText mold just slightly. We’ve moved away from the lectionary selections that are a part of our regular curriculum to focus on the birth narrative from Luke’s gospel.

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TeenText High School Luke Study: Charlie Brown Christmas

This four week ADVENT curriculum breaks the TeenText mold just slightly. We’ve moved away from the lectionary selections that are a part of our regular curriculum to focus on the birth narrative from Luke’s gospel.

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At the Feet of the Master

But now that we’re halfway through the season of Lent, I think it’s the right time to talk about what is possibly the most important spiritual practice of all, the practice that makes all the others possible: the spiritual practice of letting something go. All the spiritual teachings in the world are not going to help us–even a personal invitation from the spiritual master himself is not going to help us–if we keep ourselves too busy to show up for him. Thanks for coming over, Martha says to Jesus this morning. But you know, I really don’t have time for this stuff!

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