Luke | The things that make for peace

Disciples praise his deeds of power and sing of peace; yet Jesus weeps. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, a baby was born. Angels announced it, and a heavenly host sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to God’s people on earth!” (Luke 2:13). The little one grew in wisdom and stature, and soon enough taught the ways of peace: good news for the poor; release for the captives; recovery of sight for the blind; freedom for the oppressed; and cancellation of all debt (Luke 4:18). Continue reading “Luke | The things that make for peace”

Mark | Teachers like Jesus

Great teachers like Jesus use what they know to show you a bigger, bolder, more expansive world. They help you find your place in it, and they build you up in love. (Listen.)

Over the years, I’ve had some great teachers. There was Jim, who began a calculus lesson by leaping around the room at ever-decreasing intervals until he got down to teeny-tiny little mincing steps. There was Ellen, who ignited in me a love for poetry. There was Keith, who turned the Bible upside down with gentleness and grace. Then there are all my other teachers: family and friends and people in churches: because everywhere I go, I find teachers.

Continue reading “Mark | Teachers like Jesus”

Christ in the classroom (and everywhere else)

On Sunday we blessed the children as they started a new year at school. A whole year since we did this last, and now we all stop to breathe and consider a whole school year ahead. For many of us, that thought can be quite daunting. A school day can be full enough of struggles, and a whole year of them? Yeesh. Thankfully we have a God who understands the whole breadth of human existence and struggles, including in fact the 21st century school year. Continue reading “Christ in the classroom (and everywhere else)”

Lord, say the word, and we shall be healed

The gospels are packed with stories of healing, but what does healing actually look like in our ordinary lives? Do we expect physical cures? Do we pray for acceptance of our condition? Do we seek healing for the ugliness smuggled in our hearts, or for our family history? Can a peaceful death be a healing experience? How has good teaching healed you? When have you seen a community healed? Continue reading “Lord, say the word, and we shall be healed”

Mark | Good Sandwich, Great Teaching

Listen here.

How weird is this: Jesus goes to a religious centre, encounters a man with an unclean spirit, and exorcises him. And all the people say, “Wow! What a teacher!” Throughout the Gospel of Mark, as Jesus sends away many unclean and demonic spirits, the people keep calling him ‘Teacher’. And his tour culminates in the cleansing of the temple: and “the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching!”—except, of course, those who sought to kill him. I’m guessing by now the teachers here are mentally raising their eyebrows. Perform an exorcism at Warrnambool College, and you’ll have all the people running away screaming; they won’t be praising the teacher. So what’s going on here? Continue reading “Mark | Good Sandwich, Great Teaching”

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