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The Layered Onion of Baptism

I am sitting here writing on a rainy day. As the waters fall, I can’t help but think about the importance of water in my faith. As a Christian, I believe that baptism is the single most and dominant reference to water for a Christian. I wonder if I asked some people what baptism is or means I might get a few answers. As you may know from past blogs, I have been looking into repeating patterns in scripture, and I can’t help but think about patterns connected with Jesus’ baptism. Mark chapter one tells us the story of the baptism of Jesus. It starts by saying that Jesus goes to the Jordan river. Jesus’ name in English comes from the Greek translation of his name. However, in Hebrew, we might b

Hope

Hope and Resurrection. If there is something that the world can always need it is hope. But how does our message of the resurrection become the good news of hope for the world? Hope according to Michael Pahl for the Ancient person in Israel would have been, “the unjustly condemned would be justified, the wrongly shamed would be honored, and the cruelly oppressed would be liberated.” The hope is that one day God would resurrect these people who were condemned, shamed, and oppressed and they would be vindicated (shown to be in the right) for all to see. I am sure that sounds like hope to a lot of people in the world. At its core, the hope is that the horrors, injustices, and stuff that makes o

Patience Is A Long Road

During our Sunday Dinner at BCM, we talked about the Letter of James. We started by discussing who James is. I genuinely believe that this James is the brother of Jesus and the leader of the Church in Jerusalem during Acts 15. We learned that he and his followers were stoned to death. When looking at the letter, we found that there were similarities between the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus and the Book of Proverbs. It was almost as if James was trying to communicate pockets of wisdom in a way that was familiar to his audience. We also noticed that the first chapter was an excellent summary of ideas for the rest of the letter. Like a bed of seeds that would blossom into flowers as the messag

An Apocalypse

Resurrection. When I say the word resurrection what comes to mind? Maybe you doubt that people come back from the dead. Thanks to popular television and movies perhaps the word resurrection conjures up zombies. Perhaps the idea is incredibly unbelievable and therefore ridiculous. Resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. That may come to a shock for some people. Christian’s, I feel, talk a lot about Jesus death, death on a cross, saving blood, sacrifice, etc. However, the number one thing the apostles and first followers of Jesus wanted to talk about was the resurrection. People don’t come back from the dead, that is our current understanding of the world. Even ancient people wo

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