Word Among Us

Because of your little faith . . .

Because of your little faith . . .  To a nonswimmer, it seems incredible that a human body could float on water.   Bodies are too heavy!   The disciples, called to heal a man’s disturbed son, were just as incredulous.   But Jesus told them that the smallest amount of faith could move mountains, let alone drive out one demon!   Surely the disciples wondered how they could ever develop that kind of faith.   For that matter, how can we? The...

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I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more

I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.  Picture the scene.   The city of Jerusalem has been devastated by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.   Jerusalem’s king has been captured and taken back to Babylon.   The Temple is burnt to the ground, and many of the people have been taken along with their king into captivity and exile. For years the prophet Jeremiah had been warning the people of Jerusalem that a...

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With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you

With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.  Love is a term that we throw around a lot.   We love chocolate and ice cream and water parks and the color purple.   But this kind of love is different from our love for our family or our friends.   Now, take the difference between these two types of love and multiply it several thousand times, and you are just beginning to understand God’s love for you. This is the truth...

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Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray

Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Walking across campus at the University of Marseilles, an economics student observed a priest praying his breviary.   For Jean-Baptiste Chautard, this seemingly mundane experience “produced in me an urgent need to pray from then on.”   Eventually, Chautard decided to return to the faith of his childhood.   He entered a Trappist monastery and was ordained a priest in 1877. All of this because of...

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Jeremiah . . . was not handed over to the people

Jeremiah . . . was not handed over to the people.  There was great tension in the Temple of Jerusalem.   One prophet, Jeremiah, proclaimed a different message than all the others: repent, or you will end up like Shiloh.   Shiloh had been the city where the ark of the covenant once rested.   But because of the sins of the priests and people, it was destroyed and the ark captured by the Philistines. Nobody wanted to suffer Shiloh’s fate, but they...

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They took offense at him

They took offense at him.  You might find it surprising how often Jesus offended people.   There’s a great example in Scripture, when the people of his hometown are at first amazed and then take offense at Jesus. The Greek word Matthew used for “took offense” is skandalizo.   It means to cause to stumble, to shock or offend.   It’s also where we get the word “scandalize.”   We might not normally think of Jesus as being scandalous—scandal is...

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