Pastor Trent’s Blog
Reflections from the study
There’s a popular slogan these days, “No Justice, No Peace.” Surely, we should want to positively affirm this simple statement. It is theologically true that there is no peace without justice. But in context, this slogan has been used as a threat. In short, “if we do not get justice, we will burn this city down.” So much turns on the meaning of justice.
God speaks some of the most beautiful words to anxious people. I don’t know where I read that, but it has stuck with me. Our text from Sunday took us to some of those beautiful words in Jesus’ otherwise peculiar command: “look at the birds” (Matt. 6:24). Birds are a reminder that God values us. If he feeds them, how much more will he care for us! That’s a good argument, and it’s put in a way that changes how we look at things. It literally changes what we are look at. Birds are one of God’s answers for our anxious hearts.
The original title for this post was, “Reading the Bible in 2071.” I mistyped the date. But then, that’s actually how some of us might approach Bible reading. It’s something we’ll get to later. A reading plan can help with this procrastination. Remember Jesus’ words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
A certain headline recently caught my attention: “Utah monolith: Helicopter crew discovers mysterious metal monolith deep in the desert.” What was this all about? Sure enough, way out in the desert was discovered a triangular structure of polished metal. Its clean edges rose out of the ground some ten feet. Clearly it did not belong there, but where was it from? As if from another world entirely, that triangular structure was proof that someone was up to something.
A wedding ring does not make you married, which is good for me, because I lost my first ring. But a ring does say that you are married, and it says this to your spouse and to everyone else. You could say that the ring is a visual shorthand for the whole marriage package. It is perfectly fitted to symbolize a specific invisible truth.
On November 22, we hosted our second annual Elders Q&A. Our hope through an evening like this is to fulfill Peter's words for all of us when he wrote to elders, "shepherd the flock of God that is among you" (1Pet. 1:2). In that short command, Peter teaches us a...
Judging from the labels on our bottled water, we Americans like to know what’s in our water. Did it come from a spring? A mountain? Is it pure? We’re mostly made of water, so that makes sense. Well, the church is made of water too, the water of baptism. Yes, more important than drinking water is dunking water.
Thankfulness isn’t the banner most of us would naturally fly over 2020. Only a few things come to mind: a pandemic, violence, and an election season that exposed so many of our nation’s contradictions. Even Thanksgiving is at least legally curtailed for some brothers and sisters in other states.
Give to God What Is God’s: Rule 3, Reserve Your Greatest Energies for the Most Lasting Society, the Church
Political engagement takes energy. Mental energy, emotional energy, and an investment of time. As it should. Our heavenly citizenship is good for many things, including good citizenship here, for human government is part of heaven’s plan for our welfare on earth. That hardly means everyone who takes Christ’s name understands what they are doing with it. It just means that the world and everything in it is God’s, and that includes the buildings in the District of Colombia.
Jesus is never not Lord for the Christian. To be a Christian is to confess Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever. Which includes every second of time and every sector of life, from what’s under our own roof to the voting booth. To confess Christ King of Kings, after all, is to make a political statement. Our lives are his and our government is his. He is over this whole operation.