Wednesday, September 26, 2007

St. Paul and the Gospel

I am currently watching a show about St. Paul and the world that he lived in. They looked into the city of Ephesus, talking about the impact of religion in the city and how it was a city basically funded by religion. Ephesus housed one of the largest temples in the world at that time and through many different ways that temple funded the city of Ephesus. Enter Paul

When Paul brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to the city of Ephesus he began to preach. He would preach to large crowds. Possibly as many as 25, 000 people at the theatre in Ephesus. As people turned to Christianity people complained because of the insult it was to the temple in Ephesus and the economic damage that resulted. This controversy resulted in Paul being sent to prison. The incredible thing is that it is assumed that Ephesus as a city failed, it died, because of the economic changes that came about when people turned to Christianity. As the temple, the economy failed, and people left Ephesus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Gospel

What is the power of the gospel? The older I get, the more I experience, the more I think that the gospel is something powerful. I believe that an encounter with Jesus Christ causes one to change. I do not understand why there are so many people in the church that seem to be unchanged. I often think that we, the church, have failed at being a community that views spiritual growth as a priority. I feel like the church has been in such a large drought in the area of discipleship.

As the church we should probably hold in higher regard our calling to faith.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have been reading, and rereading, a writing of Martin Luther entitled The Freedom of a Christian. While Martin Luther is by no means a perfect human he had a lot of things to say to a church dealing with corruption, to a church that had forgotten seems to have forgotten what role faith plays in the life of a Christian. I would like to share one of the parts of this writing that struck with me:

"Here we have a most pleasing vision not only of communion but of a blessed struggle and victory and salvation and redemption. Christ is God and man in one person. He has neither sinned nor died, and is not condemned, and he cannot sin, die, or be condemned; his righteousness, life, and salvation are unconquerable, eternal, omnipotent. By the wedding ring of faith he shares in the sins, death, and pains of hell which are his bride's. As a matter of fact, he makes them his own and acts as if they were his own and as if he himself had sinned; he suffered, died, and descended into hell that he might overcome them all. Now since it was such a one who did all this, and death and hell could not swallow him up, these were necessarily swallowed up by him in a mighty duel; for his righteousness is greater than the sins of men, his life stronger than death, his salvation more invincible than hell. Thus the believing soul by means of the pledge of its faith is free in Christ, its bridegroom, free from all sins, secure against death and hell, and is endowed with the eternal righteousness, life, and salvation of Christ its bridegroom."

Monday, September 10, 2007


"Jesus was crucified on a dollar sign" I just said these words in response to money and the church. It sometimes seems like many Christians in our country of Canada are more focused on counting beans rather than on Christ. "Take up your dollar sign and follow me." I am pretty sure that Jesus did not utter these words but if he did I am sure he would really me something like this. "You are dead to money, it is not your tool anymore, it belongs to the kingdom."

I am not one to promote irresponsibility in the world of finances but I do believe that often the spending of a church or individual attempting to walk on the narrow path will often look irresponsible.

Money is money, let us not make it the Lord's gospel.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Daily Bread

In the Lord's prayer we are instructed to pray for our daily bread, for our food today. As I sat today in a coffee shop, a coffee shop located in the area of Winnipeg referred to as "Hell's Kitchen" being named after the neighborhood in New York City, I thought of this. This is a coffee shop that was started by a church that calls this area of Winnipeg its home. I sat there before work, enjoying a cup of coffee and trying to focus my mind on work instead of on the current difficulties of my life. These current difficulties are the difficulties of owning an old vehicle, a vehicle that has recently broken down eight hours outside of Winnipeg causing me to miss work on Monday and suffer many stressful moments in the last few days.

As I sat and pondered this idea of daily bread I began to feel guilty for my recent hopes and prayers in regards to my crippled vehicle. Not that the worries, hopes, and prayers for things like crippled vehicles that belong to me or others are wrong but I think that there is a difference between these worries and this instruction to pray for daily bread. Maybe I should not be praying for the extras of life with such strength while I neglect praying for this daily bread. I look at people who I have met in my life and at people who I work with now; these people who are struggling with addictions, people who have lived through civil wars, people who have seen their children die. These people who deal day to day with things at a level of intensity that I doubt I have ever known, and I cannot help but feel these people have a much better understanding of daily bread than I do. So I come to think that this daily bread that Christ teaches us to pray for must be something that is far less shallow than prayers about vehicles, assignments for school or work, and other things of this manner. It seems to be something basic, something that is so basic that we, the 'unpoverished' of the world, seem to often forget about it because we are so distracted with extras of life.

I wonder if Jesus when teaching how to pray really was speaking of bread, or if he was speaking of something else that is so basic and fundamental to our existence that it only makes sense to compare it to such a simple food? Or maybe he was just talking about bread, or maybe Christ was meaning more than one thing when he taught this prayer.