Tag Archives: heaven

A life of Christian discipleship

What does it really mean to live a life of Christian discipleship? Since its beginning, the church has been at war with itself over the answer to that question. When Paul was losing the churches he founded to the influence of the church in Jerusalem, he wrote to one of his congregations, “You foolish Galatians! […]

The wisdom of the woodsorrel

When the teacher makes the same point again and again, you can be sure it will be on the test. In the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16), Jesus said, “the last will be first, and the first will be last.” At the end of the previous chapter he said, “many who […]

The nose on your face

“It’s as plain as the nose on your face,” my grandmother would say when she was trying to get me to see something she could see plainly but I seemed to miss entirely. She was usually trying to help me see not an object but a meaning, an implication, what was (to her) the obvious […]

Lower your vision

For 2,000 years the ascension of Jesus has been the subject of countless paintings and church murals, so it may be surprising how little is actually said about it in the scriptures. Only Luke tells in his gospel that Jesus “was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-53) and, in the Acts of the Apostles, that […]

Blessed to be a blessing

To be filled, we need to be empty: Clay gives shape to a bowl, but it’s the emptiness within that makes it useful. To speak, we first need to be silent: “He who does not understand your silence,” Elbert Hubbard said, “will probably not understand your words.” To gain wisdom, we need to live with […]

On lowering our sights

What must I do to inherit eternal life? People keep asking that question. Someone asked it of Jesus (Mark 10:17-31, etc.), and we’re still asking it. When asked about your most urgent question last month, several of you responded with questions like these: Will I make it to heaven? Am I pleasing to God? Will […]

The power of one

Have you been saved? I remember the last time someone asked me that question. It was during my undergraduate years when I was working at a funeral home – an oddly appropriate place to ask the question, don’t you think – and someone whom I vaguely knew came up to me and asked with all […]

Live like the cricket

National Poetry Month, Day 22  //  There’s a story some preachers like to tell at this time of year. A preacher was taking his family to church one Easter morning, when his young daughter asked, “Dad, are you going to try to explain the resurrection, or are you just going to let people enjoy Easter?” […]

The quest for God

“Be at peace with your own soul; then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Enter eagerly into the treasure house that is within you, and so you will see the things that are in heaven; for there is but one single entry to them both. The ladder that leads to the kingdom […]

Like the iris

The iris are coming soon, my friend observed as he posted a photo of their long green spikes and barely opened buds of deep blue. Soon those buds will be in full display, glorious signs of the season. But his anticipation is wrongly placed. The iris, these silent teachers, are not coming soon; they already […]