So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:1-11 ESV)
A series on love, Part 1
Col. 3:14 “…put on love…”
Are you known in your circle of friends and relations as a Christian? Do the people at the supermarket where you shop and the club where you work out and the people on your commute look at you and know you are a Christian?
Should they? In the OT the people of God were known as the people of God because of their dress (tassels, beard curls, cloth and cut of their robes, etc.) They were also known by their behavior amongst outsiders and by their speech. How are the NT believers known as the people of God if all of the clothing and purity laws have been fulfilled in Jesus?
Paul instructs us to put on love like you put on a robe. Jesus said love would be the identifying marker of Christians. Love is our livery.
What is a livery? Continue reading
God requires his children to be long suffering and patient. It is not righteous to seek vengeance, especially for minuscule affronts that have more to do with vanity, like insulting speech, but it is also not righteous to stand idly by while people assault your wife, oppress sojourners or victimize the fatherless, the widow and the marginalized. Often there is confusion about what God requires of us in the New Covenant. Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace, and yet He says he comes with a sword.
Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Ultimately, in the cosmic war between God and His enemies, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, for we fight against the principalities and powers of the air. Yet, Christ did not rebuke his apostles for having swords. He did rebuke them for how and why they used them. Converted Centurions were not told to lay down their weapons. Jesus instigates a war within us against sin, while declaring peace between God and ourselves. Jesus provides peace between the nations, but peace that comes at the culmination of the antithesis. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Continue reading
Two ripened onion blossoms
flavor the late evening feast
Turning in well oiled hands
a chef who loves his work
an edible orchestra, complex rhythms
hands at work
light misty sweat
The fruit dances
upon his palette
knowledge meets action entangles passion
A red wine
a late harvest
abundance in a fevered pitch
like a fiesta
the meal overpowering
the consumed consumes the served
but sleep, peace
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. This is not merely a matter of Jesus’ features; the size of His nose or the color of His hair. It has to do with how Jesus conducted Himself. How did He act? What did He do throughout the Gospels? How did he respond to the Father? Jesus came to show men how to live in relation to God. He bore the image of God with His life, so that we would know how to bear the image of God with our lives. Jesus’ Lordship is unlike any kingly conduct in all of scripture. We look at Jesus’ life and truly know that God is love (1 John 4:8), because greater love knows no one than this; that someone lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Love involves more than one person. A lover must have a beloved. Without another person there is no love. Monads like Allah cannot love because there is nothing to direct their love toward. Monads like Allah are sterile, distant, impersonal tyrants. Continue reading