Who Has Soot On Their Face?

The story goes that after a prolonged search the young man finally finds a suitable rabbi and asks if the rabbi would be willing to tutor him. But upon seeing this youth the rabbi simple smiles and says “You are too young and have too little life experience for the lessons I have to teach. Come back to me in ten years”.

But the young man is full of a confidence that borders on arrogance and so responds, “I may be young but I have already mastered Aristotelian logic and symbolic logic. Test me. Ask me any question you want and I will prove to you that I am ready.”

The rabbi thinks for a few moments and then chooses a question: “Two men descend a chimney. When they get to the bottom, one man’s face is covered in soot. Tell me, which one washes his face?”

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Scripture Readings for January 22

Psalm 139 • Amos 3:1-8 • I Corinthians 1:10-17 • Matthew 4:12-23 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” – Matthew 4:17 Several years ago a dear friend of mine reacted negatively to a “repentance service” at which we were both in attendance. His aggravation…

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Epiphany: “On the Way”

“I shall not find Christ at the end of my journey unless he accompanies me along the way.” – Esther De Waal, Celtic Way of Prayer The season of Epiphany serves to remind us of Christ’s present work in the world. It does this through commemorating Christ’s manifestation to the Gentiles through the visit of…

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Readings for the Week: Jan 2-8

Thursday, January 6, is Epiphany. Epiphany marks the conclusion of the Christmas season through celebrating the visit of the Magi. The visit of the Magi, three non-Jewish men of wisdom from the east, symbolizes the revelation of the Messiah to the Gentiles. Psalm 72 • Isaiah 60:1-9 • Ephesians 3:1-12 • Matthew 2:1-12 The Gospel…

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Readings for the Week of January 1, 2011

Psalm 147 • Isaiah 61:10-62:3 • Galatians 3:23-4:7 • Luke 2:15-21 “It gets darker and darker, and then Jesus is born.” – Wendell Berry And with that the Advent season concludes and we move into the season of Christmas. No longer bewailing the dark days without Christ we now rejoice at his arrival and seek…

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“the unassumed is the unhealed”

My prayer is that we will all find ourselves encountering Christ in a special way this season.  Traffic is bad, the stores are crowded and the normal insanity of this season has long since descended. In the midst of this don’t let your eyes be blinded to the beauty of worshiping the Incarnate Christ. The…

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Readings for Christmas Day – 2010

Psalm 96 • Isaiah 9:2-7 • Titus 2:11-14 • Luke 2:1-20 As we wrap up the season of Advent we prepare to both observe and celebrate the birth of Christ. The Incarnation, God’s plan from the beginning of time, changed and continues to change, the course of history. The Word became flesh and made his…

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