Showing posts from December, 2013

Advent, Joseph, Love, God

Betrayal is the worst, and as far as Joseph knew, Mary had betrayed him. His fiance was pregnant. He had brutal, legal options available to him in this patriarchal society they lived in, yet he chose the least likely one, the one of generosity and love.

As Matthew tells it,
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. Matthew 1 He didn't choose his rights, he chose peace. God chose something greater though. God had not only chosen Mary, he had chosen Joseph as well. Matthew continues the story,
20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was…

Why is the church not attractive to men?

I just finished listening to the 2nd Sunday of Advent message from Pastor Brian Zahnd in St. Joseph Missouri. He was not speaking about the shortage of men in church. But what he spoke on got me thinking about the question of this post, and the hand wringing it inspires in some church leaders. He spoke on Daniel's vision of the goat who would dominate the world, Alexander the Great, and the son of man who would prevail, Jesus, the lamb who was slain but lives, as seen in John's revelation. The contrasts which Zahnd highlighted between Alexander and Jesus were striking, but on in particular stood out to me. During one of Alexander's conquests he crucified 2000 enemies. Jesus, however, announced his kingdom, proclaimed its victory, by letting his enemies crucify him. Alexander's backdrop as a Greek was Homer's Iliad and it's violent hero Achilles. Jesus's backdrop as a Jew was Isaiah's vision of a king who suffered and died and was rejected to save his pe…