Salvation: Now or Later?


"The salvation of the Lord" is a concept that echoes down through the Scriptures. I used to think of the promise of God's salvation as a promise for us in the far-off future. Like maybe after this life. But those early writers and characters were often in tough situations, and they were in need of immediate help, not of some far-off future help. 

A quick look at various Bible translations shows that the Hebrew word that is translated as 'salvation' is also translated as 'real help', 'victory', and 'deliverance' at times in other translations. This points to the nowness of God's help for us in our time of need.

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Finding it difficult to 'turn the other cheek'?

One of the most well-known demands of Jesus is to 'turn the other cheek'. He says that when somebody hits us on our right cheek, that we should turn the other cheek. For a long time I have struggled at what Jesus was trying to get at here. I've read with interest what others have written about it but not been entirely satisfied. Certainly its not consistent with Jesus' sayings or actions to think that he was saying that we should just allow ourselves to be mistreated by others. So, what was he saying?  What came to me early this morning is that maybe Jesus was saying that no matter what punch is thrown at us, we need to stay on course--we need to continue to proceed with our daily, God-directed thoughts and activities. This punch, which might seem to come from a person, is really just evil. So it is evil, not the person, that needs to be handled.
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Celebrating Christmas


nativitiySo I got to thinking, What am I commemorating, celebrating, honoring this Christmas? The birth of the baby Jesus? Well, certainly to some degree. On Martin Luther King day, I honor Dr King. But, even more, I honor and celebrate what Dr King embodied— each individual’s right to be free. Similarly, this Christmas I’m celebrating what Jesus embodied and showed: that everyone can feel God’s closeness, love and influence. Feeling close to God is feeling the Christ. Christ is our innate understanding of God’s nowness, His influence in our lives, and Her forever love for us. Its the Christ that gives us this feeling of connectedness to God. 

Jesus always felt plugged in to the Divine. Being with his Father was natural to him. He dedicated his life to bring this understanding, this Christ, to mankind. A God at-hand was new thinking. Before Jesus arrived, God was thought of as a far-away Being. But Jesus pounded home that the kingdom of God was at hand, or within oneself. And he proved it by bringing health and freedom to so many people.


This healing Christ is the light that attracted the Kings and Shepherds at his birth. As he started teaching and healing, it was the same healing Christ that attracted the followers and crowds wherever he went. Today this same Christ is imbedded in each of us, touching our hearts and lives, awakening us to God’s powerful yet tender presence in our lives.

In the Bible, Isaiah promises, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) This child that God is giving us is the Christ, which Jesus embodied. Its so awesome to think that this Christ is ‘born unto’ each of us. Right now the Christ is working within each of us, bringing comfort, healing and joy: that’s worth celebrating this Christmas!

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