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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Knowing Jesus' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
9:08 am
[pastorlenny]
Prophetic physics

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. –John 1:1-5

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Monday, January 3rd, 2011
11:47 am
[pastorlenny]

In John 20:21, Jesus is quoted as saying tothe apostles "As the Father sent me, I also send you."

What does Jesus mean by "As the Father sent me?"  How did the Father send Him?  To which particular aspects of His "sending" is Jesus referring here?


Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
9:54 am
[pastorlenny]
The light of humanity

Not just to us or for us
But of us the light becomes
In a place insufficiently sanitary
Where first we were infected
With the doctor of our disorder

The fix was in
A bit of blood drawn out
And into the syringe
To mix and to not mix
To be itself as it entered us

O that we would be the junkies of Christmas
Addicted
To the ever-inbreaking of His Kingdom
That our Hero might come
As our heroin
Filling the great longing
We are not wise enough to have


Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
12:27 pm
[pastorlenny]
Last Sunday of Advent

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

As Advent ends and Christmas arrives, it might be reasonable for us to take a fresh look at the opening lines of John’s gospel—which offer us such a rich and mystical view of the Incarnation.

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Thursday, November 11th, 2010
10:32 am
[pastorlenny]
Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  –Matthew 5:6

Hunger and thirst
The use of “hunger” and “thirst” as metaphors for our relationship to righteousness underscores the fact that Jesus is not just talking about an intellectual understanding of ethical rightness and wrongness. Hunger and thirst imply a profoundly visceral longing, a need that goes right to the nature of our being—like our need for food and water. It is like the feeling we get when we see a parent mistreating a child in a public place or we hear about some terrible crime. We don’t just do moral calculus in our heads. Something deep within us cries out with the desire that the wrong be prevented or remedied. This doesn’t mean that our gut feelings are always correct. People can also be viscerally appalled by a mixed-race couple or something else that is not contrary to righteousness. But Jesus here is talking about a rightly ordered hunger and thirst for that which actually is righteous. And He is talking about it as more than just a religious understanding of moral principles.

The righteousness of Christ
The righteousness that Jesus is talking about here is not just some set of moral principles apart from Himself. In fact, in the very next chapter, the righteousness that Jesus will instruct us to seek is God’s. We see this same concept presented when Jesus says that “There is only One who is good, and that is God.” These scriptures and others direct us to understand righteousness as intrinsically expressive of God’s very nature. So while on one level hunger and thirst for righteousness can be understood as a deep longing for goodness to manifest in ourselves and in the world around us, it can also be understood as a deep longing to have Jesus manifest Himself in us and in the world around us.

Being filled
There may be many other things we hunger and thirst for in life, but we don’t have any guarantee that those hungers and thirsts will be satisfied. Jesus, however, fully assures us that our hunger and thirst for Him will be satisfied. To some extent, this is an eschatological promise. At the end of things, Jesus will return and gather us to Himself. We will be resurrected in complete wholeness, in complete holiness. We will be fully in His likeness and image. We will also be resurrected into a cosmos that is completely full of His presence. So our hunger and thirst for the righteousness that is Christ will be satisfied within us and around us. This is the promise of the great feast—as well as the other symbols we read about at the end of Revelation: the pure river, the pervasive light, etc.

But we are also given a foretaste of Christ now. We feast on His Word. We receive the living water of the Holy Spirit. And, every Sunday, we are offered Christ as food and drink. It is not a coincidence that Christ instituted the Eucharist. He wants to remind us constantly that our hunger and thirst for Him will be satisfied and is being satisfied. So we partake of Him.


Friday, October 22nd, 2010
8:57 pm
[pastorlenny]

Jesus is not just able to do for us.  He is also able to do to us.


Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
5:24 pm
[pastorlenny]
Jesus and nature
"Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain..."  –John 12:24 

When Jesus makes reference to how grain reproduces, He is not just happening upon a good sermon illustration that will help people living in an agrarian culture understand His point. He is, in fact, referring to the original “text” that He Himself wrote as a revelation of divine order. When God called nature “good,” it must have meant that it was a proper manifestation of Himself—because, as we learn elsewhere in scripture, God has the exclusive franchise on goodness.

In fact, when we read in Genesis 1 about seed “reproducing after its own kind,” we are not just reading about a natural truth. We are also reading about Jesus and His redemptive work.  In particular, we are reading about how God will die as us to produce God in us.


Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
10:35 am
[pastorlenny]
Christology

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. -John 1:1-4

It is very tempting for preachers to try to teach people how to be Christians—and to thereby make the person of the Christ only incidental to some instruction about how to “get saved” or how to “lead a victorious life.”

But sometimes (if not most of the time) it is good for us to simply be reminded about Christ Himself—His nature, His redemptive work, and His great purpose.

So we started out last Sunday by looking first at John 1. Here we have a powerful affirmation of the divinity of Christ. The Word is God.

John also proclaims Jesus as the very source of life. This is essential to a right understanding of our gospel. When we read that “the wages of sin is death,” for example, we don’t have to think in terms of God as some kind of moral accountant doling out death every time someone breaks a rule.  Instead, we can understand that the Godhead, through the person of the Son, continually makes provision for us to live. So when we separate ourselves from that provision, death is the natural consequence or “wage.”

This is a good antidote to a strictly juridical view of salvation—wherein a loving Jesus somehow bribes a bloodthirsty Father into pretending that we are morally good, so that He doesn’t cast us eternally into hell just because we were somewhat rebellious in our teens and/or cheated on our income tax.

The opening of John 1 also gives us some sense of the particular role that the eternally begotten Son plays in the Godhead. We know that our triune God is three persons sharing a common substance. But they do seem to have distinct roles in the divine economy.

We don’t have to get too doctrinaire about defining the specific part that the Son plays in this economy, but it does seem that the Word here is the agency through which the Godhead projects itself into the material cosmos. God makes everything through the Word. The fullness of the Godhead enters the world bodily through the incarnation of Christ. And at the end of things, this same Christ will come to the world visibly to gather us to Himself.

We may suggest on this basis that the theophanies of the Hebrew scriptures similarly point to the Son as this agency of divine manifestation. Nebuchadnezzar,for example, says that the fourth one he sees present with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace is “like the son of God.” Some will argue for Melchizedek—the “righteous king” to whom Abraham tithed and who is the type for the priesthood of the new covenant—as a pre-incarnate manifestation of the Son.

The main point is that Jesus is God—and that, specifically through Jesus, the divine grace of life itself is delivered to creation. So Jesus is not simply God’s “Plan B” for fixing our screw-up in Eden. He was, is, and always shall be the very God who gives life.

[cross-posted from christianity ]


Friday, August 27th, 2010
12:41 pm
[pastorlenny]
Who is Jesus? - Part I

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. -John 1:1-4

It is very tempting for preachers to try to teach people how to be Christians—and to thereby make the person of the Christ only incidental to some instruction about how to “get saved” or how to “lead a victorious life.”

But sometimes (if not most of the time) it is good for us to simply be reminded about Christ Himself—His nature, His redemptive work, and His great purpose.

So we started out last Sunday by looking first at John 1. Here we have a powerful affirmation of the divinity of Christ. The Word is God.

John also proclaims Jesus as the very source of life. This is essential to a right understanding of our gospel. When we read that “the wages of sin is death,” for example, we don’t have to think in terms of God as some kind of moral accountant doling out death every time someone breaks a rule.

Instead, we can understand that the Godhead, through the person of the Son, continually makes provision for us to live. So when we separate ourselves from that provision, death is the natural consequence or “wage.”

This is a good antidote to a strictly juridical view of salvation—wherein a loving Jesus somehow bribes a bloodthirsty Father into pretending that we are morally good, so that He doesn’t cast us eternally into hell just because we were somewhat rebellious in our teens and/or cheated on our income tax.

The opening of John 1 also gives us some sense of the particular role that the eternally begotten Son plays in the Godhead. We know that our triune God is three persons sharing a common substance. But they do seem to have distinct roles in the divine economy.

We don’t have to get too doctrinaire about this part, but it does seem that the Word here is the agency through which the Godhead projects itself into the material cosmos. God makes everything through the Word. The fullness of the Godhead enters the world bodily through the incarnation of Christ. And at the end of things, this same Christ will come to the world visibly to gather us to Himself.

We may suggest on this basis that the theophanies of the Hebrew scriptures similarly point to the Son as the agency by which the Godhead projects itself into the world. Nebuchadnezzar,for example, says that the fourth one he sees present with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace is “like the son of God.” Some will argue for Melchizedek—the “righteous king” to whom Abraham tithed and who is the type for the priesthood of the new covenant—as a pre-incarnate manifestation of the Son.

The main point is that Jesus is God—and that, specifically through Jesus, the divine grace of life itself is delivered to creation. So Jesus is not simply God’s “Plan B” for fixing our screw-up in Eden. He was, is, and always shall be the very God who gives life.

Next: The Trinity


Saturday, August 14th, 2010
9:26 am
[pastorlenny]
Matthew 20:28b
"And, lo, I am with you always -- even to the end of the age."

1) What does this verse mean to you?
2) What does it mean that Jesus is "always with us?"  Didn't He say in John 16:7 that He had to leave us so that we could receive the "Helper?"
3) Is there a particular purpose for which Jesus remains with us?
Friday, April 16th, 2010
3:23 pm
[arago_sama]
Since it's Easter season
Is there something that particularly wows you about the resurrection narrative and the events that follow? And is there something particularly comforting to you about the facts relayed there, aside from the general "we'll get the resurrection too"?

I really like how Jesus stuck around a while before ascending. He could have just up and left and enjoyed His Heavenly court, but He chose to remain and even eat plain ol' fish with the disciples. This kind of leads to my feeling of comfort. He tells us He will be with us, even to the end of the age. His attitude that I just mentioned definitely gives me a concrete certainty about that.
Thursday, July 8th, 2010
10:32 am
[napoleonofnerds]
Jesus as a model
To what extent do you see Jesus as a model for your life? Is there any relevant sense in which you see him as outside the realm of moral action?

I've always had trouble using Jesus as a moral example, since he was God and therefore had a great deal more knowledge about the nature of things than I do.
9:57 am
[pastorlenny]
A call for entries

It seems that we have about 80 people in this community now -- but I'm still the only one who posts.  Can we remedy that?  Could someone else do a post?  It doesn't have to be anything lengthy or profound.  A simple question about the nature or person of the Christ will do -- or a simple expression of wonder about His words or acts.

The original idea behind this community was to provide a Christian forum that would be fully Christological -- rather than focused on topics like whether it's OK for Christians to have tatoos or serve in the military.  We would first know the Christ.  So please feel free to support this endeavor by posting something!


Monday, July 5th, 2010
9:52 am
[pastorlenny]
Other Jesuses
For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached—or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it.  -II Corinthians 11:4

What do you think are some of the "other Jesuses" that people accept?  That is, what are the particular attributes that you believe incorrectly ascribe to Jesus—and therefore result in them in some way following some "other" Jesus?

Or do you have a different understanding of what Paul is warning against here?
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
9:57 pm
[pastorlenny]

What aspect of our Christ's nature has been on your mind most lately?  Care to tell us why you think this might be the case?  Does it have anything to do with something going on in your own life right now?


Monday, June 28th, 2010
4:09 pm
[pastorlenny]
Another attempt

Is there an attribute of the Christ that you sense people could perhaps better apprehend?  What attribute?  How might we benefit from better apprehending it?  Care to speculate about why it might be that this attribute tends not to be so central to people's perceptions of Jesus?


Sunday, April 11th, 2010
5:14 pm
[arago_sama]
A tautology
Jesus is awesome.
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
11:26 pm
[pastorlenny]
Clear!

For some some reason, there have been quite a few new requests to join this community -- so I am going to take a shot at reviving it.

Originally, the purpose of this community was to provide an alternative to the Christian communities on LJ that tend to focus on personal circumstances, doctrinal issues, and current events.  This place is supposed to just be about Christ Jesus -- His person, His nature, His teaching, and His work.  I like to try and keep my eyes focused on the author and finisher of our faith, so that's why I decided to give this a shot.

Seeing that Lent, Good Friday and Easter have just passed, maybe I can kick things off by asking everyone what single aspect of the Christ was most powerfully revealed to you or reinforced in your understanding of Him during this time.

Or just post whatever you would like about Jesus.  Thanks!


Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm
[pastorlenny]
Sin and sacrifice

It is easy to perceive animal sacrifice as the capricious edict of a bloodthirsty God whose wrath is so savage that He simply refuses to chill out until somebody kills something. This point-of-view, in fact, is often one of the main stumbling-blocks people have when it comes to both the depiction of God in the Hebrew scriptures and the idea of Christ’s atonement for sin as described in the New Testament.

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Saturday, November 28th, 2009
10:25 am
[spyro_prime]
The Beauty Of Christ
"Christ takes on the appearance of each of the poor
and assimilates Himself to all of them so that no
one who believes in Him will be arrogant towards
his fellow being.
On the contrary, he will look on his fellow being
and his neighbor as his God, regarding himself as
least of all in comparison just as much with his
neighbour as with his Creator, honouring his
neighbour as if he were his Creator, and
exhausting his all in his service, just as
Christ our God poured out His blood for our
salvation."

Philokalia IV p 49:114

Please share your thoughts and most importantly
how the above paragraph makes you feel.
Or, please share your own experiences, or quotes
showing the beauty of Christ.

What does this mean: 'honouring his
neighbour as if he were his Creator'

My own comment: how amazing for One
to believe in this message as to pour
His blood to show us the way towards
our own salvation.

Thank you for sharing.
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