Responsibility

A Light To The Nations

God had called the People of Israel to be a “Chosen People,” not in the sense of privilege but in the sense of responsibility. It all started when God said to Abraham, “All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you” (Gen.12:3). But Israel did not hear, Israel did not accept, Israel became …

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Get Your Own Dirt!

The story is told that at the end of the American Revolutionary War, the newly-formed nation came close to disaster. The government, which was short on funds, owed back pay to army officers, men who had fought long and hard for the nation’s independence. There was talk that the army would not disband until paid, …

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Love Is The Sweetest Thing

Long before Jesus’ coming, ancient peoples had been using the skins of animals as liquid containers. In Palestine these containers usually were made from goat skin. The skin was stripped from the slaughtered animal with a minimum of cutting and then tanned into a pliable leather. The openings were tied and sealed and the end-product …

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What God Expects You To Do

A Jewish family moved into a new neighborhood. The parents felt that their young son would benefit from some extra discipline. Consequently they went to enroll him in a nearby parochial school. There they were told that because the available space was limited, all applicants would be required to take an oral admissions test to …

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Technically, the first day of January is just another day on which the sun rises and sets, the natural cycles run their natural courses, and we people wake up, eat, breathe, do our things and go to sleep. Were January merely the thirteenth month, its first day would not be terribly significant. But the opening …

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Who Am I?

There is a “Peanuts” comic strip in which Linus very candidly admits to his good pal Charlie Brown, “I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. In fact, this is a distinct philosophy of mine: no problem is so big or so complicated …

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Dismount!

The Biblical concept of a “Chosen People of God” is a major theme running through the history of the United States. The Pilgrims were Bible-loving, Bible-centered, Bible-reading people. They took this concept right out of the Old Testament and applied it to themselves: the new “Chosen People.” They used the phrase, “Aaron into the wilderness” …

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Revenge Is Sour

Long before Jesus’ coming, ancient peoples had been using the skins of animals as liquid containers. In Palestine these containers usually were made from goat skin. The skin was stripped from the slaughtered animal with a minimum of cutting and then tanned into a pliable leather. The openings were tied and sealed and the end-product …

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The Doomsday Blahs

Many persons today are forecasting the early demise of the world. Our world is dying, they say. The end of human history, as we know it, is at hand. The human race, they say, is on a collision course with disaster. Men now have in their hands the tools of total destruction. Literally, a handful …

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Let Freedom Ring

The students in a fifth-grade class in American History were given an examination. Among the questions to be answered was the following: The Declaration of Independence was written chiefly by_______(fill in the blank). On one of the papers, a student had neatly penciled in, “Candlelight.” The Declaration of Independence was written not chiefly by “candlelight” …

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Hang Loose!

Fashions in language come and go. But it’s likely that one lasting contribution from the fashions of recent years will turn out to be the expression “uptight.” Uptight people are not necessarily neurotic people. In fact, psychologists might say they are normal. It is fashionable, it seems, to worry with a passion about getting ahead; …

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Your Greatest Gift

. . . Do not ride in automobiles; they cause 20% of all accident fatalities; . . . Do not stay at home; 17% of all accidents occur in the home; . . . Do not walk on the street or sidewalk; 14% of all accidents happen to pedestrians; . . . Do not travel …

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Let It Shine

Someone has suggested that “God created people because God loves stories.”1 I think the following story is likely to meet with God’s approval: Two men called on a pious, old monk to seek his advice. “We acknowledge our sinful ways,” they told him, “and we want to clear our consciences. Can you advise us on …

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Uh-oh!

A clergyman and popular writer tells the story of the first funderal service he conducted: It left a bad taste in my mouth. First year in the ministry, twenty-four-years-old. No need to seek advice about anything. Which is why I so easily agreed to help a lady scatter the ashes of her husband from an …

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When All Else Fails …

A right relationship with God grows and develops not merely by what we say or teach or promise. It’s what we do that matters most. And in today’s Gospel Lesson Jesus invites some of the religious authorities of His time to reflect on the matter of doing God’s Will. “What is your opinion?” He asks …

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Run For Your Life!

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. We are all born “wide-eyed,” so to speak. We delight in the enthusiastic wonder of an infant who hears the jingle of keys, or sees for the first time some colorful toy. Often we are inspired by persons of advanced years who still maintain …

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Somebody’s Not Doing His Job

There is a “Peanuts” cartoon in which little Lucy asks, “Why do you think we’re put here on earth, Charlie Brown?” “To make others happy,” says Charlie. To which Lucy replies, “I don’t think I’m making anyone very happy.” Then, thinking it over, she says, “Of course nobody’s making me very happy either. SOMEBODY’S NOT …

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Who, Me?

A veteran seminary professor has painted a composite picture of all the “rules” followed by the people he has observed and counseled who seem devoted to the task of making things miserable for themselves and others — taking the joy out of life … RULE NUMBER ONE: Feel sorry for yourself. A perfect place to …

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One Man’s Family

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a living legend of love for the poor and oppressed and the homeless and people dying in the streets. Not only was she directly involved with people in need, but also she managed to find time to travel all over the world to find support for this ministry. On one …

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