Table Talk: 6th Sunday in Easter

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Digging Deeper: JOHN 5:1-9

At an initial reading of the text it might appear a curious and odd question Jesus asks the lame man. He doesn’t ask “What would you like me to do for you?” Where the man could have said, “Put me in the pool so I might get well.” He asks “Do you want to get well?” It would seem to be a question with an obvious answer. However, upon reflection: Is the answer obvious? With healing comes ability and with ability comes responsibility. Often people, perhaps at times even you and I, find it easier to be sick, to be injured, to be ignorant than it is to be well or knowledgeable.  We may at times even fake illness or ignorance in order to avoid responsibility. “I can’t, because I am sick or because I don’t know how….” How many times have we failed to give witness with the excuse “I wouldn’t know what to say” (see Acts 1:8; 1 Pe 3:15; 1 Jn 1:1-4). In Luke 12:48 Jesus tells us the one to whom much has been given, much is expected and in Mt 10:8 Jesus says “Freely you have received, freely give.”

It seems to me that the questions for us are:

  • Do we want to be healed knowing that response-ability comes with healing?
  • When Isaiah was cleansed in Isaiah 6 he responded with “Here am I Lord, send me” (Is 6:8). As we have been healed, cleansed, and empowered will we join Isaiah in his response (Mt 10:8; 2 Tim 1:6-7)?
  • Being empowered by Christ’s indwelling through the Holy Spirit will we strive to live a life worthy of our calling (Eph 4:1)?

These are a few of my thoughts. I’m interested in hearing from you. Do you share any these thoughts? Do you have some different thoughts? If so, please share them. Do any of these thoughts raise any questions for you? Let’s see if we can get a blog dialogue – a family “Table Talk” going.

Serving through Christ and His Love,
Bill Cullen


Have you been wondering about something you’ve seen or heard at Mount Olive? Email or text us at questions@mtolivelutheran.com and be sure to subscribe to the Olive Tree to see the latest Table Talk + more!

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Table Talk: 6th Sunday in Easter

Table Talk: February 29 Edition

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Good morning! I am wondering, should we pray for people who have died? Thank you. – Gabi B. 

Hi, Gabi!

It’s an interesting question!  Let’s think it through.

When a person dies, they either go to heaven (if they had faith in Jesus as their Savior) or to hell (if they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus).

If the person goes to heaven, there’s no need to pray for them because they have the very best, they are there with the Lord.  Their joy is immense.  It is complete. It is full. It can’t get any better than that.

If the person goes to hell they’re in the worst possible place, far from God. They need help.  But no help can be given. For once in hell, there is no escape.

That’s why we’re moved to pray (and act) for people who are living that they be brought to faith, or if they already have faith that they not fall away from the faith. Now, while people are still living, is the time to be praying for them and caring for them.

Thank you for asking!

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Have you been wondering about something you’ve seen or heard at Mount Olive? Email or text us at questions@mtolivelutheran.com and be sure to subscribe to the Olive Tree to see the latest Table Talk + more!

Table Talk: February 29 Edition

Table Talk: 2nd Sunday in Lent

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Why does Jesus refer to Herod as a fox in the gospel lesson for February 21? – Karen F. 

Hi Karen, Leon Morris, in his commentary on Luke’s Gospel, says “the fox was used by the Jews as a symbol of a sly man, but more often for an insignificant or worthless person.”  It was sometimes a symbol of destructiveness.  T. W. Manson says,  “To call Herod ‘that fox’ is as much as to say … he has neither majesty nor honour. The expression is thus contemptuous.”

 

While Lutherans think of each Sunday as a “Little Easter,” we’ve also historically treated Lent a bit differently; we typically don’t say “alleluia” and certain parts of the regular liturgies are replaced with other parts more appropriate to the season.

This last Sunday, we sang an awful lot of “alleluias.” Is there a reason? – Don S. 

Hi Don, you’re right that some have the custom of “burying the alleluia” during Lent.  The idea is that we can celebrate that much more at Easter when the alleluia is raised.  Alleluia means praise Yahweh, praise God.  My personal preference is never to stop praising God, or limiting the praise of God.  That’s why we don’t hesitate to use songs with alleluia in them even during Lent.  Whether or not to bury the alleluia in Lent is in the area of adiaphora:  it’s neither commanded nor forbidden in Scripture.  So we’ve made the choice here to not inhibit the singing of alleluia during lent.  It’s just our preference.  Those who prefer to not use alleluia during Lent are not sinning, and I’m sure are also still praising God during Lent.  Either way is good and proper, as long as we worship our dear Lord from the heart.

 

Thank you for your questions!

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Have you been wondering about something you’ve seen or heard at Mount Olive? Email or text us at questions@mtolivelutheran.com

 

Table Talk: 2nd Sunday in Lent

Table Talk: Questions + Conversation

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Have you ever found yourself sitting in the pew with a question about the sermon, part of the service or one of the Scripture readings? Maybe you wonder why we do the things we do. You’re probably not the only one and we want to hear what you’re thinking!

Text or email questions@mtolivelutheran.com and you could see your question addressed in our new series “Mount Olive Table Talk” right here on on our blog, The Olive Tree!

Of course, you’re always welcome to ask in person, too!

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Table Talk: Questions + Conversation