Practices of the Church 4, Spiritual Gifting, the Fullness of Christ

The fourth practice of the church in John Howard Yoder’s book Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before a Watching World he calls the “Fullness of Christ”. Based on Ephesians 4:11-13 and 1 Corinthians 12, Yoder defines the fullness of Christ as A new mode of group relationships, in which every member of [Read More...]

A Christmas Prayer

z&m_Christmas 2011

  Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that I, who have been born again and made your child by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through my Lord Jesus Messiah, to [Read More...]

Celebrating Advent with a Young Family

In this fourth and final week of Advent we lit the candle of Hope. The devotion we followed labeled the four candles: Promise, Light, Love and Hope. Each week we’ve been anticipating the coming of Jesus. We’ve meditated on God’s promise to send his Son to be the light of the world, the very embodiment [Read More...]

The Kind of Pastor You Want to Be

The Pastor Eugene Peterson

Most pastors in ministry I know had a vision of what they wanted to be as a pastor before entering the ministry. Many still do. But a good many of those pastors are now frustrated, or unsatisfied or angst-filled because they are not being the pastor they want to be. Recently I was having coffee [Read More...]

Prayer for the Final Week of Advent

advent_gr

Purify my conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Messiah, at his coming, may find in me a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [Read more...]

Christmas and the Priesthood

temple2

An often overlooked aspect of the Christmas story of Luke’s Gospel is the emphasis on the priesthood. The first character introduced in the story is a priest (Zechariah) who is in the Temple preforming a priestly act (burning incense): Priest, Temple, priestly activity. What’s more, we are told that Mary is related to Elizabeth who [Read More...]

Jewish Context of the New Testament Story

Roberts_Fall of Jerusalem

This coming semester I’m teaching one of my favorite courses, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. In preparation I’ve already begun reading up again on things ancient Jewish. The books on the Second Temple period that I’m having students read as background are two brief introductions: Lester Grabbe, An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism (T [Read More...]

Celebrating Advent with a Young Family

We’ve come to the beginning of the fourth week of Advent. We’ve been celebrating it with our two 4-year old twins, Zion and Mary. This week we hit about 4 of the 7 days, not too bad. The script for our Advent devotion is pretty simple: light the candles, read and talk about a Bible [Read More...]


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