What Jesus Achieved for Us

Torah scroll.  Photo credit: nellyaltenburger.   5:17 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all…

Being Salt and Light, Part 3

Jerusalem walls and Tower of David. Photo credit: Adiel Io, Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons 3.0 (cropped)     5:14 You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all…

Being Salt and Light, Part 2

Salt and sand encrusted boot.  Photo credit:  Unknown, Pxhere.  Creative Commons Zero.   13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.   How can…

Being Salt and Light, Part 1

Creative Commons Zero.   13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 You are the light of the world.  A city set on a…

Wartime Ambassadors

The U.S. Embassy to Germany at the outbreak of World War II, closed during the war.  Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1998-010-24. Creative Commons 3.0.   5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in…

The King’s Ambassadors, Part 2

Stairs to the chapel on the campus of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Ibilin, Galilee, Israel.  The MEEI was founded in 2006 by Abuna Elias Chacour, the Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church from 2006 – 2014, to educate Palestinians and promote reconciliation.  Archbishop Chacour identifies as a Palestinian-Arab-Christian-Israeli, and is well known…

The King’s Ambassadors, Part 1

Clear glass bead reflecting the larger landscape – a parable of the human being reflecting Jesus.  Photo credit unknown, Pxfuel.  Creative Commons Zero.   7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.   In her church community, Erica met a Korean-American man named…

The King’s Welcome, Part 2

Mountains and sunset near Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in China.  Photo taken from a Naxi village in May, 2013.   5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.   Not surprisingly, Erica’s family[1] was less than thrilled that Erica…

The King’s Welcome, Part 1

Photo credit unknown, Pxfuel.  Creative Commons Zero.   3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Jesus’ beatitudes are poetic descriptions of the character qualities of the kingdom of heaven.  They describe a process of transformation.  They also describe the…