He laid his hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly

He laid his hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly People who are blind often use guide dogs to “see” for them.   But learning to work with a guide dog is not something that happens automatically.   It can take weeks or even months for the blind person and the dog to learn how to trust each other and work together.   But once that happens, the blind person often feels free to go almost anywhere. The blind man in this passage ...

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Do you still not understand?

Do you still not understand?  Twice in today’s Gospel (Mark 8:21),  Jesus asked his apostles,   “Do you not yet understand? . . . Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:17, 21).   The answer is obvious.   The apostles thought Jesus was lecturing them about their irresponsibility in forgetting to bring enough bread for their journey (8:16).   But Jesus was after something much more important. When Jesus told them,  “Guard against the leaven of...

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Sin is a demon lurking at the door

Sin is a demon lurking at the door . . . yet you can be his master This story  (Genesis 4:7) starts off with great promise.   Both Cain and Abel have prepared their offerings to the Lord.   They know that God has created and sustained them.   They know that everything comes from him and that offering a sacrifice is only right.   We also know that God sees Cain’s heart when Cain’s sacrifice falls short and that he knows the temptation Cain is...

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Jesus left the district of Tyre and went

Jesus left the district of Tyre and went . . . into the district of the Decapolis Before we get into today’s reading (Mark 7:31), let’s rewind two chapters.   Do you remember how, in Mark 5, Jesus healed a demon-possessed man?   Because of this great miracle, the man who was cured wanted to follow Jesus.   But Jesus told him instead to  “Go . . . announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you” (Mark 5:19). And that’s exactly...

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It is not good for the man to be alone

It is not good for the man to be alone If you love a good romance story, you’ll appreciate the following scripture (Genesis 2:18).   When God creates a woman out of the first man’s rib and presents her to him, the man reacts with pure delight and satisfaction.   Finally he has found his soul mate, the “suitable partner” he had been searching for (Genesis 2:18). This passage is clearly about God’s plan for marriage, but there’s another truth...

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When you send forth your spirit

When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.  Not every part of our globe experiences winter as cold and snowy.   But we all know what it feels like to experience “winter” in our personal lives.   It may feel to our souls the way frozen landscapes and chilly temperatures feel to our bodies: dreary, desolate, and in need of warmth and renewal. If you’re feeling that way, today’s psalm (Psalm 104:30) can...

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