The original Star Trek cast was an ensemble group of races and nationalities. Among them was the half human half Vulcan Mr. Spock. The conflict of the Spock character allowed the writers to explore some aspects of just what it means to be human. His desire was often to deny his humanity and become fully Vulcan, which he found difficult due to his human nature. Star Trek the Next Generation introduced us to Lt. Commander Data who, though a sentient being, was technically not even alive. The android character constantly worked to become more than his programming, finding that some aspects of humanity were always beyond his grasp. Data explored what it means to be human as he struggled to be more human, while Spock had worked to be less so. Continue reading
When I was in college I latched onto the idea that we are created in God’s image. I went as far as puling some commentaries on Genesis off the shelf at the library and taking a few notes. You can’t write a whole book on the first two chapters of Genesis, not one that anybody wants to read anyway. That might be a good leaping off point for exploring man’s relationship with God throughout the whole Bible, but at the time that was the only idea I had: we are made in God’s image. Continue reading
In Daniel chapter 3, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were called to appear before King Nebuchadnezzar. They were charged with not worshiping the gods of Babylon nor bowing down the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar himself. He is willing to give them another chance, and if they will bow down then all will be well. But instead:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” -Daniel 3:16-18 Continue reading
Joy Williams Here with Us, scenes from The Nativity Story
UPDATE: This is still one of my Christmas favorites. This year I did a full write up on what’s going on in this video:
I wrote a post two years ago with the same title. It’s very short, here’s a link. In that post I begged the question what if everything we know about Christmas we learned from reading Christmas cards? You know, details such as exactly 3 wise men were at the manager with the shepherds on the night Christ was born, and that angels are beautiful women with blonde hair, hymn books and choir robes. I worked that into a sermon last year and it’s a shame I don’t have all those pics online somewhere.
Well, here’s a Christmas card that I like.
Where is God? Lots of people have a take on where God might be. Atheists believe that there is no god of any kind, anywhere. Agnostics believe there may be a god or some type of higher power, but we either don’t know what that is or perhaps we cannot know. Deists believe the universe was set into motion like the gears of a clock, but that we are tiny and insignificant to such an omnipotent God. Then there’s New Agers, Scientologists, Oprah and so forth. Some spend their entire lives looking for God, but he isn’t hard to find. The truth is it should be hard to miss God. Continue reading
On Easter we will celebrate the resurrection. Jesus wasn’t just resurrected, he IS the resurrection. So we’re not simply celebrating the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. He was not the first to rise again. That miracle had happened more than once already. But when Jesus hung on the cross, it was the first time that God had ever died. Two of the gospels recorded Jesus’ birth; all four record the crucifixion. In Matthew’s Gospel, he records the sky going dark until the 9th hour (3 p.m.). Only Matthew goes on to say that the veil was torn in the temple from top to bottom, and the graves of the saints opened up. The Old Testament saints went through the street of Jerusalem prophesying (Matt. 27:45, 51-53). The darkness, the earthquake, the veil, the saints, all highlight an extraordinary event taking place that day. I’m thinking of a few other scriptures beyond the gospels: Continue reading