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Chenal This Week

Posted 5 days 19 hours ago
As a nation, and indeed our world, we celebrate and venerate the stories of the self-made, rags to riches rise from humble beginnings to fortune and fame. In sports we like the story of the walk-on in college who becomes a starter. We like the Tom Brady types who are overlooked, drafted in late rounds, or undrafted, only to go on to great success. In entertainment, we enjoy hearing about the singer who was discovered while singing at the mall, or the famous actor who was first discovered while working at the fast food joint.
Posted 1 week 5 days ago
Throughout the book of Hebrews, Jesus is described as our great high priest. The role of the priests was to reflect God to humanity, but their calling was also to represent humanity to God. Priests are intercessors, go-betweens, a bridge between the human and the divine over which the word of God, the ways of God, the worship, love, mercy, and forgiveness of God travels. Likewise, they are a bridge over which the prayers of the people, the problems of the people, the hopes and hurts of the people are meant to travel back to God.
 
Posted 2 weeks 5 days ago
When thinking about names of Jesus in scripture, the "Lion of Judah" stood out to me from a young age. Lion's are strong and fierce. No one wants to cross a lion. Yet as I began to study it, I noticed something interesting.
 
Posted 3 weeks 2 days ago

Disruptions can be the catalyst of growth. The moments in life that push our limits or force us to live outside of paradigms can actually be good things. They force us to think and challenge our way. And if embraced, disruptions can actually lead to expansion. 

Posted 1 month 3 days ago
Throughout history, people who hold positions of great power (and those under them) have been caught up in the comparison game. How does your nation, your ruler, and your god[s] stack up against those around?
 
Posted 1 month 1 week ago
The church the Hebrews writer addresses is struggling. The road is hard. Opposition is building. They feel beat up and battered. They're thinking about giving up and going back to their old life and their old faith. So the Hebrews writer decides to give them a pep talk, and to spur the church on, he taps into the image of the race that would have been so familiar to the readers.
 
It's here that the church is encouraged to zero in on Jesus, who is called the pioneer and perfecter of faith. That's a pretty impressive image right there.
 
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
The iPhone recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its debut. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, it took the world by storm. But as revolutionary as it proved to be, how many people do you know who still use an original iPhone (and as a paper weight does not count)?
 
Posted 1 month 3 weeks ago
When God commissions Moses to be his mouthpiece, Moses is reticent. What if I go to my fellow Hebrews and they ask, "What is his name?" Asking about the name is asking for God's credentials. Does this God have the power to accomplish what he is promising?
 
Posted 2 months 1 day ago
Luke 17:7-10 has one of the lesser-known parables. Jesus describes a servant doing work outside-plowing a field or tending sheep. Then he poses a hypothetical question. When the servant comes in, would one expect the master to invite the servant to kick back, relax, dine in leisure and act as if half a days work was all that's required, or would the master expect the servant to do a full day's work? When you put it that way, the answer is obvious, and the servant's attitude should reflect as much. "I have only done my duty."
 
Posted 2 months 1 week ago
When Jesus twice identifies himself as the good shepherd in John 10, that image serves several functions. First, he's mining a metaphor of the shepherd and sheep with which the audience is very familiar. Second, he's using imagery associated with a role that God repeatedly plays in the OT (Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34; Isaiah 40 just to name a few). Third, he's contrasting himself with the various leaders of his day. The use of shepherd as an image of leadership was widespread at the time, both inside and outside Judaism. But Jesus is not like those other leaders.