The Beginning of the Gospel

The first eight words of the book of Mark reminds us that everything has a beginning, our walks of faith included.

Street Psalms arrived in Nicaragua almost 20 years ago as a pilot project training series for youth leaders. The name given to this initial foray into transformational ministry was “Incarnational Youth Ministry: Reaching the Last, the Least, and the Lost.”

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Second Sunday of Advent – Year B

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

1:2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;

1:3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”

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A Loud Invitation

I love the lead up to Christmas. It’s this cozy, warm season. But just as I get settled in, John the Baptist shows up yelling.

Change! You better change! Change it all!!

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Prepare the Way

Anytime we read something like, the word of the God came to so-and-so, I’m tempted to imagine this happened in some alternate spiritual universe—one where there are prophets and visions and miracles—not my ordinary everyday world. But the author of Luke is at pains to tell us that this happened here, in the real world, at a specific time in a specific place.

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On the Edges

Wilderness.  Uncultivated. Uninhabited. Inhospitable. Neglected. Abandoned. Disfavored. Dangerous. These words are commonly used to describe places of “wilderness.” And yet, as I write, my eye keeps catching the edge of…

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Born in Wilderness

For Karen, the stairwell was her wilderness sanctuary, right in the heart of the merciless city. There, she found the space and solace to let loose and cry out with a loud voice. The oppressive thumb of drug addiction, abuse, pain and poverty could not find her in that place.

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The Waiting Rooms of Christmas: The Wilderness

A smartly dressed, well-heeled crowd pressed their way through a cold December evening in 1851, seeking to find comfortable seats within the warm confines of New York’s Metropolitan Hall. The hype for this event was incredible. It would become part of an annual phenomenon, featuring big and plenteous voices, gathered to sing out the scriptures, as arranged by George Frideric Handel in his oratorio, “The Messiah.”

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Awake in the Water

We would have called it the boonies or the sticks or perhaps BFE. Mark refers to it simply as the wilderness. Whatever the name, it was a place you didn’t so much go to as you went through. And yet, John made the desert a destination. People from the Judean suburbs loaded their campers and headed out.

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The Four Waiting Rooms of Christmas – Wilderness

This year during Advent the Gospel of Matthew invites us to sit in, what we are calling, The Waiting Rooms of Christmas: Apocalypse, Wilderness, Prison and Public Disgrace. These strange…

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In Mark we get a smelly guy yelling – dressed like a nutcase. Right from the opening verses.

“Repent!” Literally, “get a different mind!” Wake up! Rub the sleep boogers out of your eyes. Splash some water if that’s what it takes. Brew a strong cup. Yes this is going to be good, and you’re going to miss it in the state you’re in.

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