Archive for Saturday, November 28, 2009

Faith Forum: What’s your favorite religious verse?

November 28, 2009

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God’s word comforts doubters

The Rev. Kara Eidson, associate pastor, First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt.:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1

The most frequent dilemma that comes to me from members of the church, and even in my own faith journey, is the problem of doubt. I often comfort such people by assuring them: “Doubt is proof that faith is still alive.” But even though I can recount centuries of the faithful who have struggled with doubt as well, it is sometimes little comfort.

(John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, often told his circuit riding preachers: “Preach faith until you have it!”) We — perhaps even more than our ancestors — have become a people who desire evidence for the things we believe; we want to see and touch what is real, or at least have an authority on the subject explain it in such a way that we are able to believe. But I have no formula for my profession that will prove God’s existence, that’s why it comes down to a matter of faith.

This verse is one of my favorites because it defines faith: “assurance of things hoped for” and “conviction of things not seen.”

We find such assurance and conviction in the Word, in God’s creation, in the people around us who work for the good. We can be witnesses to God’s promises on a daily basis, if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

— Send e-mail to Kara Eidson at kara@fumclawrence.org.

Scriptures reveal miracle of life

The Rev. Matt Zimmerman, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St.:

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” — John 1: 14

When Yuri Gagarin returned to the USSR from his space flight he reported that having flown into the heavens he declared he had not seen God. On hearing this, an orthodox priest remarked, “If you haven’t seen God on earth, why would you expect to see him in heaven?”

The Christmas season is soon upon us. In church language, it is the Feast of the Incarnation. It is a time when we look not at the transcendent glory of God that fills the universe but at the divine wonder of a baby’s face. The incarnation reminds us that God made his creation and declared it good to the point that God is willing to be part of it. Christianity holds two opposites to be one that God is both unapproachable and intimate, beyond our sight and within our hearts. At Christmas time we look within to find God.

A charming movie titled “Wide Awake” is about a young boy who experiences a crisis and declares to his young friend that he is going on a search to find God. His friend’s question in return is quite unique, for his question contained the answer, “Where in the world are you going to find God?” The poet William Blake shares the possibilities:

“To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”

“And the word became flesh and lived among us ...” Christmas, the incarnation is a time to see the divine not revealed by the grandeur of the heavens but in the miracle life and the divine revealed in ourselves and those around us.

— Send e-mail to Matt Zimmerman at fathermatt@sbcglobal.net.

Comments

Paul Decelles 5 years, 8 months ago

Isaiah 55 that starts:

1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. ...

Tom McCune 5 years, 8 months ago

Song of Songs 7

1 How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. 2Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. 3Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 4Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus. 5Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses. 6How fair and pleasant you are, O loved one, delectable maiden! 7You are stately as a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. 8I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, 9and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly, gliding over lips and teeth.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 8 months ago

Numbers 5:11-31 describe a holy abortion

"If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him... then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and the priest shall say unto the woman,

'The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell... and this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot': And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot... and this woman shall bear her iniquity."

Kathy Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

That the self advances and confirms the ten thousand things is called delusion; That the ten thousand things advance and confirm the self is called enlightenment.

                   -    Zen Master Dogen Zenji, 1200 - 1253

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

"The wagon of the wicked shall be fixed."

Paul Decelles 5 years, 8 months ago

Come on Multi, cats are better spellers than that....though mine have problems texting on a cell phone.

gr 5 years, 7 months ago

"Marion writes:

Not too bad a deal!

You get to invade someplace, kill all the guys and keep the women!

Kewl!"

That sounds terrible. That doesn't sound like reflecting much of a loving God, does it?

Question. For a God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt without the people slaying anyone (Moses tried, God didn't support, and even his own people criticized him), how did it get to that point where they were instructed as you said above? When was the first time that they killed?

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