Never will I leave you or forsake you. I suppose pretty much every Christians knows that line. Or something like it, depending on which translation you read. It’s from God. But do we know where it comes from? And of course, the ultimate questions related to that line – do we believe God will never forsake us and do we live like we believe it?
The Gospel of Mark is a vivid account of the life of Jesus. This is the shortest of the four Gospels we have in the New Testament, and many scholars think it was the first to be written.
Mark tells us about the life and death of Jesus—the Messiah who is truly the Son of God. Jesus teaches and heals with astonishing power and authority. However, his closest followers don’t really understand him—and the Jewish authorities reject him absolutely. Jesus himself is convinced that he must suffer and die before being raised to life in triumph. The twin peaks of the Gospel are when two people recognize Jesus’ real identity. The first is Simon Peter, who declares, ‘You are the Christ.’ The second is the Roman soldier in charge of Jesus’ execution, who says, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’
Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., p. 444). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.
This then is how you should not pray. You may or may not recognize those words. If you do, then you know it should be this then is how you should pray. But you’re much more likely to remember what comes after them. It’s The Lord’s Prayer. Or maybe you know it by the Our Father. Depends on what denomination you are. Or what you’ve heard. But I’m curious, how many of us know the part that comes before the words so many of us know? In any case, before we talk about should, let’s look into should not. It’s interesting.
How can I be angry at him? He’s dying. At one level, this is the story of me and a dog. The little guy in the picture below. At a higher level, one specific man. But at it’s core, it’s about every person on the planet. Not as a group. As individuals. And while it may sound sad, it’s a story that can have a very happy ending.
Is God loving or angry? There’s no simple answer to the question. The complex answer is yes. Yes, God is love, and therefore God is loving. Incredibly loving. Loving in ways that we can’t even understand. But yes, God is also angry. Can you really blame Him? Look what we do to each other. What we do to Him. And what we’ve done to pretty much every part of His creation that we can reach! Who wouldn’t be angry? Why do we wish for a loving God, but expect an angry God?
Jesus healed a leper. But if he was healed, why did Jesus him to see a priest? The event is recorded in three of the Gospels. And they all tell it pretty much the same way. All three leave us with questions. Why did the healed man have to go see a Jewish priest? Why was that necessary? And to make it even more odd, Jesus told the man not to tell anyone how he was healed! What’s going on?
Just imagine each of the doors being an entry to one religion. Let’s say Christianity. Open that door, and there’s another set of doors where each door is a denomination. Then you see a third set of doors, where each of them is a conference. That’s followed by yet another set of doors, where each is an individual church.
You think the door opening is over. But probably not. …