A Beggar’s Take on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died in love. As Jesus says in John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” While he is certainly referring to his own impending sacrifice, the teaching applies to those who gave life in service of country and defense of comrades in arms. While we lift up courage and honor as central values this day, it is love that we celebrate most.

copyright 2020, Timothy V. Olson

Christ, the Center

Beyond the empty tomb and the first encounters with the risen Christ we hear about on Easter, the reality of the resurrection opens into a deeper and more powerful understanding the place of Christ in the world, even the universe. In the the first chapter of Colossians, the author opens up our eyes to see the bigger picture revealed in the resurrection. It is a revelation that brings Christ right into our laps.

Resurrection is More Than Springtime

A Video Reflection from My Deck

There are many ways we imagine what it means to believe in the resurrection. For some it is simply coming back to life again – which is resuscitation, not resurrection. Others think of reincarnation. Many look to the resilience of creation in spring and see new life. But none of these are resurrection. Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). This Beggar’s Take is that resurrection promises for far more than just living the same life I have now.

copyright 2020 Timothy V. Olson

Solitude and Pandemic

​For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken. Psalms 62:1-2

Solitude during a Pandemic

While humans are made to be in community (see Genesis 2) we also benefit from time alone. The trouble is, we become lonely and bored. Why? Maybe it is because we don’t like the person we;re with when we’re alone… That’s this Beggars Take.

Contentment

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever – Hebrews 13:8

The most challenging word in this teaching is, “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have…” We live in a culture where everything is a commodity to be sold and consumed. We may say we don’t love money, but we sure love what it buys. When terror attacks happen, we are encouraged to fight back with our credit cards.

Contentment is dismissed in our age because it supposedly saps our ambition and stalls the economy. Discontent drives industry and capitalism. The problem is that we are consuming the resources earth provides faster than they can be replenished. Our lack of contentment and misguided love of money as a means of being happy is killing the planet and humanity in the process.

Contentment is not found in what spoils, rots, or rusts. It is found in what we already have and what is always with us. After the call to contentment, Jesus speaks: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Instead of a new dryer, we’re told, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” What more do we need?

For the sake of Jesus, drive out my discontent and fill me with the abundance of your grace. Amen.

From Christ in Our Home copyright © 2019 Augsburg Fortress. Posted by permission. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress. Contact copyright@157.media for permission.