Americans think they are good and decent people, worthy of salvation by their lifestyle. At least that was a finding of a 2001 Barna Research Group poll, finding that 7 in 10 Americans believe that we must do works in order to be saved. But our text suggests that we are just the opposite, sinning again and again as we ask for Jesus for the wrong things (v. 18), get angry with Jesus when he heals a good worker (vv. 19-22), throw men of God in jail (vv. 23-24), and even contemplate suicide (v. 28). No two ways about it: Our lesson reminds us that we need a lot of forgiveness.
The word epiphany is from the Greek and refers to the experience of a sudden and amazing realization. Usually it’s applied to a scientific or philosophical/religious breakthrough, but it can apply in any situation in which a brilliant insight gives a person a different perspective on life or a problem s/he has been considering. For example, Archimedes’ famous shriek of “Eureka!” came as he was in the baths, contemplating yet again the difficulty of determining if a given mass would float.
Ron Love Mark Ellingsen Bob Ove Bonnie Bates Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 Imagine a worship service, a sharing of scripture and interpretation, that went on from dawn until midday. How would you respond? In many of our mainline churches a worship service that last more than an hour risks negative comments to the pastor. “Worship was too long.” “I have other things to do today.” “Can’t you try to keep worship to an hour?”
Some time ago there was a series of programmes on BBC 2 on the recent history of the Catholic Church. The series was called "Absolute Truth", and one programme looked at Catholicism in the developing parts of the world. It studied the work of liberation theologians in Latin America, particularly Leonardo Boff and Oscar Romero.