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The Great Inversion

Most modern scholarship agrees that Jesus was an actual historical person.  They can vouch for him gathering a rag-tag group of disciples in and around Galilee - largely as a counter-movement to the harsh treatment of the Romans and the excesses of the elites down south in Jerusalem.  But, when Jesus finally made the long journey down to the center of the Jewish people in the city of David, things did not go well.  That's an understatement.
Arrested for sedition and charged with blasphemy, Jesus was beaten severely.  Then he was crucified, which wasn't anything out of the ordinary for those stringent Romans.  In six hours he was dead.  They came by to break his legs, but there was no need.  This hero of the people from Galilee went like so many other messianic-figures, only with even less of a roar.
Just like that, three years of budding hope seemed a total loss.
Jesus was dead and buried.
Historians, of course, can't vouch for what actually happened next.  What they care…
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Notes on Galatians - Introduction

In the opening of his book Stages of Faith, James Fowler tells of driving to a conference where he was set to speak.  His goal was to get his audience thinking about the direction of their lives.  He wanted them to contemplate where they were currently spending their best time and energy, but he also wanted to challenge them to go deeper.  What did they really want to be focusing their time and energy upon?  Where did they want to give their best?  What did they want to devote their lives to?  What did they want their most important work to be and what legacy were they going to live?
Mentally, he came up with his list of questions, but in doing so, it hit him.  The questions hit him.  What did he want to give his life to?  What work did he want to focus upon and pour his energy and talents into?
When we pick up Paul's Letter to the Galatians, two things become very clear.  First off:  for Paul, there is absolutely no question in his own heart and mind what work truly deserves his be…

Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday

Are you ready for the adventure!

Grow closer to God and restart your journey with Jesus.
This 10 week class is perfect for anyone
interested in hearing more about being a Christian, if you have a church home but are looking for something more, or if you just feel the desire to grow closer to God this year.
Contact Wes Kendall for more information or if you have questions.

Zelda, Jesus, and How We Are Made for the Journey

I am not afraid to admit it.  God has been speaking to me through Zelda.  No, not really.  The voice in the newest version of the game is from someone else, an enchanting voice that emerges at the very beginning and will be with you the whole time.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over, at the beginning.
Like all true spiritual journeys, this one begins with an awakening. 
A shimmering light appears before your eyes, and you hear someone imploring you:  "Open your eyes!"  You have been asleep for a very long time, longer than you can imagine, longer than you dare consider.  And as you emerge, you learn a few things very quickly.  
One, you are very much a novice.  You are just beginning.  You do not have much, only a few necessities.  But that is okay, for you are also being given a gift - a type of guiding presence and map.
Two, there is a dire mission before.  A grave calamity has befallen the world, and you will have a part to play in bringing light back i…

1 Timothy 4 - Questions for reflection and prayer

1.  What is your spiritual community?

Healthy spiritual communities are places that foster a deeper awareness of spiritual growth and move beyond superficial conversations to talk about what you are really experiencing.  Healthy spiritual communities support activities that allow us to experience greater grace and freedom in our lives - activities like deeply engaging worship, in discussions about spiritual direction, meditation and prayer.

Where have you experienced this type of healthy spiritual community (it doesn't necessarily have to be the church)?  Where do you feel like you can find it in Greencastle?

2.  Who is your trainer?

One of the key components of any worthwhile exercise class is often times the instructor.  He or she can help make the experience both challenging but also life-giving and rewarding.

In today's age, the beautiful thing is that you can have access to all sorts of trainers - both physical and spiritual.  With podcasts, blogs, Youtube and other resourc…

Luke 1 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This past Sunday we went deeper into the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in the opening of Luke's Gospel.  Luke is drawing upon the rich history of God's surprising goodness to disheartened people - specifically to those who thought they were never going to have children (i.e. - Abraham and Sarah, Elkanah and Hannah).

Zechariah and Elizabeth's life has all of the characteristics of a life pleasing to God.  They come from that special line of priests in Israel's tradition, and they are both accounted as "righteous before God, living blamelessly."  They have so much going for them, except for this one glaring and gaping space of disappointment.  They have never been able to have children.

We explored how this place of sorrow is common to all of us.  We all have these spaces in our lives where we have an "expectation" and we have a "reality" that doesn't line up with this expectation.

We lifted up a cup and used that as a symbol of how t…