Bible Book: Matthew

Simeon and Anna in the Temple by Rembrandt van Rijn (1627-28)

Leadership Wisdom – Showing Up In Person

Human beings are creatures in whom and with whom the Maker of the Universe has chosen to dwell, and through whom God intends to work his purpose in the world. And that should make us look differently at each person we serve and lead.

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Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane

Sometimes Jesus Did Not Want to Pray Alone

The example of Jesus teaches us that there are times when it’s good to be alone with the Lord as we pray. His example also reminds us that sometimes we need others with us when we pray. If Jesus wanted to have his friends with him when he prayed in Gethsemane, surely you need similar support when you face great challenges and deep suffering.

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A man sitting on top of an observation deck on top of Sugarloaf Mountain

The Holy Mountain, Part 2

It is good for us to see Christ manifest in all his glory. It is good for us to worship and to know the eternal stakes of our present moment. It is also good for us to go back down from the mountaintop experience and see what comes next.

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A brick in a wall with the word "Courage" on it

Courage is Calling—Part II

Courage stands firm in the dignity of her humanity. Courage stands in solidarity on behalf of other bodies, in this case, the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Courage risks rejection. She was in fact, rejected twice in this conversation. However, her courage was repetitive and persistent.

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Courage is Calling—Part I

This Canaanite mother believes in the identity and authority of Jesus over disease and demons. She places trust in his authority, in his person, in his powers. We don’t know how she came to believe in him, but her courage came to believe. She binds her courage to Christ. She brings her courage to bring wholeness and healing for her daughter.

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Four lit Advent candles

Leadership Wisdom – You are the Light of the World

Isn’t Jesus the light of the world? In what sense are we?

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A salt shaker full of salt

Leadership Wisdom – You are the Salt of the Earth

How does being “salt” relate to our work of being leaders?

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A bike chained to an old bridge in Amsterdam that is covered with colorful flowers

Something Old, Something New

As you look for manifestations of God’s glory during the weeks after Epiphany, remember that some of them may surprise you because you would never have thought to look for God in a new place—and some of them may surprise you because you never would have thought to look for God in an old place.

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A crocheted nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, sheep, shepherds, and the Magi

Advent: Honest Revelation

The same God who sets the galaxies into motions sustains your life in motion. The same God who created the skies orchestrates the stars in the sky just to come get you. May you know, like the Magi, that you aren’t lost in this season. You are looking. May you follow in their steps of ordinary revelation: to wake up, to watch and to walk. Every morning. Every night. May you know God is in your holy night and in this holy darkness. A benevolent (not malevolent) darkness where the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine to show you the way.

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A round stained glass window showing Jesus with outstretched arms

The One Who is to Come

Despite what John the Baptist could see from his prison cell, and what we can see as we look out at a war-torn, plague-weary world, Jesus assures us that the present evil age is, in fact, over. He knows it is over because he inaugurated the age to come himself.

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A church with the words "Jesus Saves" on its bell tower

Be Ready (Part 2)

We cannot control the timing of Christ’s Second Advent, nor can we control the movements of the Holy Spirit. What we can control is our own behavior: our own readiness, our own desire to be a disciple, our own prayer life, our own daily practices. We can use this Advent to grow closer to Christ.

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Pentecostés by Juan Bautista Mayno, ca. 1615-1620. Public Domain.

Depth Perception

Human beings were created for community. As the creation account reminds us, when God said of Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). One of God’s greatest gifts of being human is the gift of the other… We need others to help us rightly see the world around us. Without other perspectives, our view of the world flattens out. Without different perspectives, we lose vital nuance and depth.

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A black and white photo of a hallway of prison cells

Doubt His Presence—Part 2

In one statement Jesus affirms John’s value and ironically ours also.

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A man in a darkened room deep in prayer

Doubt His Presence

If John doubts, then just perhaps it will be alright in the life of a leader if you have some doubt too.

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Spy Wednesday and the Unexpected Meaning of Our Work

In some traditions it’s called Holy Wednesday, but I doubt that would have engaged my juvenile imagination.

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