A Mission for the 22nd Century

This morning, I asked you all about what is it that you love about Claylick because it is important for us to claim what is special about this amazing church. I ask, as well, because I love hearing the stories about what makes Claylick special to each of you.

It has been four months since Abbi, Noah, and I moved here. Every day since we arrived we have been amazed by what God has been doing. A lot has happened in these four months. We have all laughed. We have all cried. We have all been challenged. We have all pondered about what it means for us to be the church God desires us to be here in our communities. It has been a busy four months.

Perhaps, then, it is appropriate for us to call a time out. To pause and reflect on where we have been and look ahead to where we are going. To get a sense of what God is doing in our midst as we discern what God might be asking of us as individuals and as a church. Continue reading “A Mission for the 22nd Century”

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Give to God What is God’s

For the second week in a row, we are faced with a challenging passage of Scripture that gives us another difficult encounter between Jesus and the religious and political authorities of the day. Much like the passage that we looked at last week, of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, this encounter makes us uncomfortable. It is not the story, itself, that makes us comfortable. It is the context of the encounter that is uncomfortable. Jesus, here, seems to be addressing a very political situation.

Many of us like to believe Jesus rose above the politics of the day. There is some truth to that. Jesus is no partisan, but that does not mean Jesus refrained from discussing the social and political situation of his time. He routinely engages the political, cultural, and societal issues that faced the people to explain the greater truth of what it means to follow the Lord.

This encounter from Matthew 22:15-22 is no different. We meet up with Jesus in the middle of a busy day of conflicts and challenges from the religious and political elites. This particular confrontation takes place on the Tuesday of Holy or Passion Week. These direct confrontations between Jesus and the religious leaders where highlighted by the fact that Jesus routinely called out their hypocrisy that centered on what they taught and how they lived. Continue reading “Give to God What is God’s”

Dressed for The Wedding Feast

At the beginning of the football season, the University of Kentucky’s Athletics Department sent out a notice about the biggest game of the year. Strangely, no one responded to the department’s announcement. Not a single ticket was sold for the game. The Athletics Department wasn’t too worried. They figured that once the big game arrived that it would be a sell out.

A week before the game the Athletics Department sent out another round of advertisements for the upcoming big game. This time they focused on the players, what would happen if Kentucky won, and how amazing a fan would have if they attended the game. Again, no one bought a ticket. Not a single ticket was sold for the game. Everyone responded back that they had better things to do. Some said they wanted to go to Simpsonville to the new outlet mall. Some preferred to stay home and watch another game. Some others were upset basketball tickets were not sale. Continue reading “Dressed for The Wedding Feast”