In denying the accountability of the cross and pretending to sit in judgment over the Church, the claim that “The Church needs to be held accountable for its past” empties the cross of its power and brings Jesus down from the throne of judgment.
To say “Jesus is Lord” is the most political thing you can say, but not because it implies a political agenda. When we declare that Jesus is Lord and not Caesar, we are saying that the realm of life and death is not politics but the throne room of Jesus.
Amos 4:6-13 tells us how, in an effort to bring Israel to her senses, God sent a series of calamities, including famine, drought, blight, pestilence, disease, and violence. Nevertheless, Israel wouldn’t turn back to God. This list of calamities is strongly reminiscent of the curse list in Deuteronomy 28, suggesting a covenant context for Amos 4.
Amos 4:4-5 sits in the middle of the trajectory of Hebrew prophecy by declaring that only worship that proceeds from a heart that loves God and loves its neighbor is acceptable to God. Amos sounds a lot like Jesus.
Unlike January 1, Advent and Christmas begins the year meaningfully and in the proper perspective: new beginnings are here not because you have decided that it is so or are going to make it so, but because God has decided that it is so and has sent Jesus to make all things new.
Christmas is, or at least it should be, a season of joy. But what is the joy of Christmas? Joy is the natural human response to the good news of Jesus. This joy is the inheritance of every Christian.
God doesn’t need us to defend his integrity in the comments sections of the Internet. What he wants from us is that we be trusting enough in his goodness that we join with the world in wrestling with hard questions honestly and not piously ignoring them. Being a faithful witness for God isn’t about self-righteously dismissing doubters but about pointing to God in the midst of the doubts.
Christianity is the kingdom of priests God envisioned in Exodus 19. Its purpose is to mediate the blessings of God to the world. As we partake of the body and the blood of Christ in communion, we imitate the Aaronic priests’ consumption of portions of certain Israelite sacrifices. Communion strengthens and empowers us to bring the blessings of righteousness, peace, and joy to the nations of the world.
In Genesis 2 it says that humanity were made to work, but sin has turned our relationship to our work into one of pain and toil. Fortunately, in Jesus our work has been redeemed and no longer has to be toilsome and pointless.
When we keep our eyes focused on the immediate, we lose the perspective of eternity. However, if we will lift our eyes to the transcendent Jesus, everything, including the immediate, comes into proper perspective.