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April 18 2022 By dvirtue FORGIVING IGNORANCE

This otherworldly grace and forgiveness challenges us 2000 years after the words were first uttered and 60 years after Ruby repeated them. The ignorance of the powers that nailed Jesus to the cross has been repeated in every generation since. Power never cedes its authority willingly and when melded with evil must be met with defiance–defiance that risks all, even death.

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January 02 2022 By dvirtue The Magi's Perilous Journey

But even in that era, kings were not born. Princes--sons of the monarch--had to survive palace intrigues, sibling rivalries, and foreign invasions to take their thrones. Even a cursory understanding of the Old Testament reveals that the odds of the eldest son taking the throne of his father were not great. Even Herod the Great, the king of Judea at the time of the magi's visit, was placed on the throne by Marc Antony after a deadly civil war.

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December 21 2021 By dvirtue The Light the Shepherds Saw

Through His angels, God chose to announce His Son's birth to shepherds outside Bethlehem. We don't know how far away they were or how they made it to the manger bearing the infant. The heavenly host had lit up the night sky, but by the time of the shepherd's journey, the host had dispersed. Travel by night was perilous. We don't know if the shepherds were led by a dog: the star leading the wise men to the creche had not yet appeared.

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November 23 2021 By dvirtue The Union of People

Still, God's purpose of persons linking across generational, ethnic and geographic lines stays with us. Ruth's aspiration that Naomi's people be hers is more than her hope for abundance in a strange land: it is a commitment to be faithful against the odds. Few people, whether in-laws or not, are willing to make that commitment.

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October 29 2021 By dvirtue The Darkness of Counsel

So asks God of a remonstrant Job covered in boils, sitting in ashes, bereft of his family and earthly possessions. Job had earned this fate because God had decided to test him, an upright man, challenged to do so by the Prince of Darkness to see if a good man stripped of health, wealth and lineage would curse God. Three friends urge him to do so.

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September 28 2021 By dvirtue Nine Decades and Counting

Ninety years is longer than any of my immediate forbears has "enjoyed" on this earth. I put "enjoy" in quotes as for them and many I suspect their last years were wracked with infirmity. Even if they didn't complain, you knew that they believed that their time had come and they were waiting for the inevitable. By contrast my friend seems not to share this viewpoint: he genuinely looks forward to the morrow.

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August 10 2021 By dvirtue A Voice Crying

The desert of my college was not the arid landscape of ancient Sinai, Judea and points East but a bucolic New England town. Still the place was far removed from cities and airports, highways and seaports. Some there have used its location as a rostrum to point the way toward truth.

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July 05 2021 By dvirtue The Language of Healing

Language is one of the arts that God gave us originally in the Garden, when He commanded Adam to name the beasts of the field and birds of the air (Gen. 2:19). The variety of languages He ordained by scattering those from the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:7) had to be part of His plan ultimately to reconcile us to Him through His Son who was not bound by language any more than He was bound by time, space or death.

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April 26 2021 By dvirtue The Fear of Evil

Fear is I suppose the natural response to evil, the strong bulls of Bashan and roaring lions of the 22nd Psalm giving image to the fears we feel. The Lord's rod and staff can keep them at bay for a time but not forever.

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To be told we are basically good, and we will get better with time with the evolution of the human mind and new technological aids doesn't fly when a loved one is on a ventilator and may die within a few hours.

The goodness of Man mantra wears thin when you can't put bread on the table, you've just been fired from your job and the rent or mortgage is due with nothing in the bank to pay it.

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