Browsing articles from "January, 2011"
Jan 31, 2011

Acts 28:11-31

Today’s Reading is Acts 28:11-31.

Paul got mixed reactions teaching the Jewish authorities in Rome. His reaction? – He was pissed. And Paul concluded: “You are to know, then, that God’s message of salvation has been sent to the Gentiles. They will listen!”
Duh! If you were a minority of only 10% of the population you depend on the coherence of your religious/ethnic group. Yes, the broad majority of people, at least being secure about their cultural identity is much more receptive for different religious influence.

Explore the meeting of two ancient cultures, Roman and Jewish, in this walk of Rome’s ghetto.

Jan 31, 2011

Potato Pancakes

Reibekuchen American style, super easy and yummy with applesauce

Jan 30, 2011

Acts 27:39-28:10

Today’s Reading is Acts 27:39-28:10.

This is another milestone of early church history: Publius’ conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West. Here is how the orthodox history of Malta is told. That is a pretty place.

Jan 30, 2011

Sermon Podcast: Reality Check, Part II

Listen to a sermon by the Rev. Daniel Haas titled “Reality Check, Part II” based on Matthew 4:23-5:12. It was delivered at Provo Community United Church of Christ on January 30th 2011. Also you might want to check out Part I.

Jan 29, 2011

Acts 27:13-38

Today’s Reading is Acts 27:13-38. It is one of those great stories of men of God managing a voyage on the water.

Paul stands in the tradition of even greater people:
Noah and his Ark and Jesus calming the storm come to mind.

They all make a point: You are not alone – God has your back!

Jan 28, 2011

Acts 26:19-27:12

Today’s Reading is Acts 26:19-27:12.
The end is near: That is the end of the book of Acts and Paul’s career.

After Paul basically preaching to the authorities he invokes his rights as a Roman citizen. And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to the Emperor.”

So with this man we have an example of someone bridging cultural gaps: Pharisee and Roman at the same time. Paul is totally embedded in 1st century Judaism. Paul is able to preach at the Areopagus in Athens so that people of Greek upbringing can relate to it.

Paul describes it beautifully in his own words: “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized — whoever …”

Jan 27, 2011

Acts 26:1-18

Today’ Reading is Acts 26:1-18.
This is nothing but the third account of Paul’s conversion in the book of Acts. Please refer to my reflection of the first account in Acts 9:1-25.

Jan 26, 2011

Acts 9:26-43

Today’s Reading is Acts 9:26-43.
After Paul’s conversion he went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. Well that didn’t work out too well. This little scene is a wonderful reminder of what the early church had to go through: Growing pains!

The Apostles were used to being good Jews, following rabbi Joshua.
Now that the second temple is destroyed Judaism as a whole undergoes a major crisis and this little sect of Jesus people has to find its own identity. The Apostles under Peter’s leadership minister in Jerusalem basically sticking within their comfort zone. Paul pushes the boundaries towards opening the early church to the Roman culture. In this first encounter after his conversion he is flat out rejected. This whole conflict is not resolved until the Council of Jerusalem.

Jan 25, 2011

Acts 9:1-25

Yesterday’s Reading was Acts 9:1-25. It is one account of Paul’s conversion.
Paul himself writes about it on three occasions in his letters:

1 Corinthians 9:1
Intention: My ministry is legit!

1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Intention: My ministry is legit!

Galatians 1:11-16
Intention: My ministry is legit!

Now the book of Acts has three accounts of it as well:

Acts 9:1-25
Intention: People, come and see the light!

Acts 22:6-21
Intention: People, come and see the light!

Acts 26:12-18
Intention: People, come and see the light!

Paul’s own accounts a very brief. They don’t have a story line to them, they are merely arguments for the legitimacy of his position. The book of Acts on the other hand uses the idea of Paul’s conversion as an example of how faith can turn a person around. The dramatic images of light have inspired many to see the light.

Jan 25, 2011

Acts 8:26-40

Monday’s Reading was Acts 8:26-40.
It nicely ties together what was going on during the weekend:
Saturday was about kicking out the gnostic tradition.
Sunday was about unity in the body of Christ.
Now the story of the Ethiopian treasurer is a tribute to the rich contributions the Coptic tradition has made to Christianity.