Gospel Meditation

03-19-2017Pastor's Letter

"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth." Are we true worshippers? Do we praise and honor God the Father in the way Jesus described to the Samaritan woman at the well? It seems that this woman was caught up in logistics about WHERE to worship more than HOW to worship. Her people worshiped in one place, the Jews in another. She was puzzled by this and, even though she could see that Jesus was a prophet, she challenged him because she thought perhaps he wasn't a true worshipper of God. The Lord's response to her was to shift the focus away from a particular physical location for honoring God. In essence, he told her that what mattered was that we worship God by being filled with his Spirit, "the Spirit of truth, [who] will guide you to all truth," as Jesus will say later in John's Gospel (16:13). This woman, whose life was marked by such a sad string of broken relationships, had been missing the point.

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Gospel Meditation

03-12-2017Pastor's Letter

"When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid." Peter, James, and John already knew Jesus. They had been following him, learning from him, watching him for quite some time. But what took place before their eyes at the Transfiguration was unlike anything they had yet witnessed. This was not just a miracle or a message: this was a supernatural vision. When Jesus' face suddenly "shone like the sun" and two ancient prophets appeared and spoke, and a heavenly voice announced the true identity of their friend and teacher, these three disciples nearly fainted in fear. It must have been too glorious, too strange, too astonishing to handle.

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Gospel Meditation

03-05-2017Pastor's Letter

"He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry." And no surprise! That's an incredibly long time to fast. Undoubtedly Jesus' physical and emotional strength would have been extremely weak after enduring such a marathon of abstinence. And isn't it interesting that the "tempter" should choose to appear at this particular moment? When bread must have sounded better than ever, the devil comes and tests Jesus, saying, "Command that these stones become loaves of bread."

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Gospel Meditation

02-26-2017Pastor's Letter

"Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?" No, indeed we can't. But evidence does suggest that worrying can subtract time from our life span! Clearly, we are not meant to worry. It's not healthy and it's not useful. But for many of us, it's quite difficult not to be anxious and concerned about matters that are important to us. So what is the secret to letting go of this unnecessary anxiety?

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Gospel Meditation

02-19-2017Pastor's Letter

"Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow." Today Jesus continues the powerful teaching of his Sermon on the Mount. Typical of this famous sermon, here he urges us to see things in a new way, specifically regarding situations and people who bother us. First, he tells us not to seek revenge. Instead, we are to demonstrate incredible generosity. Then, he instructs us to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." These instructions don't come naturally to most of us. We are much more inclined to want to get even with those who cause us to suffer, and to wish ill for those who have hurt us. But Jesus proposes another way.

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Gospel Meditation

02-12-2017Pastor's Letter

"Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Jesus presents two paths for us today: we can break his commandments or obey them. And the result corresponds to our choice. If we decide not to follow God's guidelines, we will not enjoy the fullness of the kingdom of heaven. But if we choose otherwise, eternity will look much brighter for us! Of course, it's easy to know in our minds what the right choice is. But putting this into practice is another matter. The commandments Jesus gives in today's Gospel are not easy to follow. He takes the ancient Ten Commandments to a deeper level of commitment. He says more than do not kill. Rather, do not even harbor anger in our hearts. He says more than do not commit adultery. Rather, do not even indulge in lustful thoughts. He says more than do not lie. Rather, do not even swear.

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Gospel Meditation

02-05-2017Pastor's Letter

"You are the light of the world." Speaking to his followers, Jesus tells them of the influence they are meant to have. Like the seasoning that gives food its flavor, they are to be "the salt of the earth" and like a lamp on a lamp stand that "gives light to all in the house." Clearly, their influence on the people around them is meant to be positive and substantial. But what is the source of this irreplaceable influence?

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