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Showing posts from 2014

ON THE COMING OF JESUS TO THE WORLD

It is interesting to observe that 'in the fullness of time' (when God had planned) Jesus humbled himself and came to earth as a baby; conceived in a miraculous way and born in unusual circumstances far from his parents' home. When the time came for God to send the angel Gabriel to advise of the way Jesus would arrive in this world, Mary was the one who received the message. Even though it was a terrifying thing to see the angel and the news was so astounding, Mary was able to question Gabriel about the circumstance of her having a baby and after hearing the explanation she accepted the word from God and affirmed that she was the Lord's servant. The Jewish scholars and pious priests had been reading about the coming Messiah for such a long time and had formed their own ideas about how this would be accomplished and what Messiah would do once he arrived. God chose to reveal his plan to a humble unmarried woman and some time later, Joseph had confirmation of what was to ha…

Wives, 'Respect' Your Husbands.

From time to time we hear of the responsibilities outlined in Ephesians 5 verses 22 - 33 concerning husbands and wives respectively. Often the language gets reduced to a catch phrase like, "women want to be loved and men need respect." It is as if this phrase defines all women and all men for all time. It is as if this phrase sums up all that is required by all women and all men. It is assumed that for men, love is not an issue, all that they require to be completed as men is respect. Equally, for women it is suggested that love, of the emotional, 'touchy feely' variety is all that women crave. While this may be true for some men and women it does not hold that it is true for all, as many writers would have us believe. Indeed most writers who claim such are of the opinion that men and women are designed this way and that all we need to  do is accept this and act out the roles to which we have been assigned by virtue of our gender. To reduce this profound passage to …

Biblical Love should not be determined by gender.

Our pastor is beginning a new ministry series for the new year. He feels constrained by the Spirit to speak on the love of God and how our being loved by God should impact upon our ability to genuinely love others.In the introductory message he touched on some texts that really got me thinking about how it is that the Biblical injunction to love should not be determined by our gender.One of the passages that he referred to was Ephesians 4:1-3, which, in the TNIV reads:

"As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

As these verses were being read it occurred to me that our tendency would be to immediately translate those verses to incorporate gender. The Biblical imperative, as encouraged by the Apostle Paul in verse 2 is, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patie…