Everybody Wants a Piece of the Cross

Celtic cross in a field of daisies

Everybody wants a piece of the cross. One of those travel guys on TV visited a museum in Europe that was filled with religious relics. There was a tooth supposedly from John the Baptist, a piece of the tablecloth claimed to be from the Last Supper and a piece of wood allegedly taken from the actual cross of Jesus. Local…

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An Aversion to the Blood

African-American drummer

A few years ago on a Wednesday night, our gospel choir was practicing for Sunday. The song was all about the blood of Jesus. Suddenly in the middle of practice, out of nowhere, the thought came: He’s gonna try to stop it. I felt in my heart that the enemy would try to stop us from singing this song on…

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Incarnation—One Time Only

child's drawing of the nativity

Christmas celebrates the whole idea of the incarnation, when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). God the Son was incarnated as (became flesh as) Jesus of Nazareth. The incarnation is a one-time-only event in history. I was surprised to read a writer giving this play on that verse from John: “The Word must continue…

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A Not-So-Happy Day?

We are saved by the blood of the Lamb/blood of Jesus. But that concept is a problem if you’re trying to mix all the world religions. Some time ago I saw a TV special about the importance of music in world faiths. (This was an episode of the Global Spirit series, titled “Sound of the Soul.”) The subtle message was…

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“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

image of hymnal page

Apparently Charles Wesley wrote this hymn (with 19 verses!) to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his conversion. And that event is reflected in the words: “On this glad day the glorious Sun / Of Righteousness arose . . .” But when we sang this one day, I was struck by another verse: “He breaks the power of canceled sin, /…

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