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Looks Can Be Deceiving

“She looks just like you!”

I said that to someone I had recently started working with, about her daughter. Then she told me their daughter was adopted.

An Adoption

My sister was adopted. It was public and well known. Most adoptions are not that way, but this was different.

  1. They adopted when I was 10, my brothers were 13 and 12.
  2. When you show up for church one Sunday with a baby, it gets noticed.
  3. Everyone knew my parents didn’t have a baby girl.
  4. And she didn’t resemble either parent.
  5. She was from Viet Nam.  

The Resemblance

No, she obviously didn’t favor either parent. But when she learned to talk, she talked like us. Her mannerisms reflected those of our family. She ate what we ate, did what we did, and went where we went. She was ours and we were hers. We belonged to each another. We were the same, we were family.

How That Happened?

Here are some things that made her one of us:

  1. She had our name.
  2. She had our values.
  3. She was believed as we believed. 
  4. She was loved equally and in the same way as her brothers.
  5. She was a Fyffe, through and through.

A Spiritual Adoption 

Paul wrote in Ephesians that God adopted us into his family, 1:5. That we are the Father’s workmanship, the result of his divine will, 2:10. That we were given his name, 3:14. And that we grow to become like him, 5:1-2.

We were created in the image of God, but that wasn’t about appearance. My sister didn’t look like my parents, but they were her parents, she was our sister, and we were one.

Our spiritual identity comes from God. We wear his name, reflect his values, and share his purpose. We became one with him.

  1. Identity
  2. Name
  3. Character
  4. Purpose
  5. Family

It all came from him, it all points to him.

To Close

We look different, but we were adopted and fitted into God’s family. It’s not about who you look like, but who you belong to.

I said to my friend, “She looks just like you!” Spiritually, we all look like the Father.  

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Shalom

A Confused & Concerned Rabbi

NOTE-this series is a narrative from both scripture and fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thank you.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Five

I am Rabbi Judah Ben Moyce, but the villagers call me Rabbi Morty, short for Mordecai, my father, who served Nazareth as Rabbi for over fifty years, as did his father.

MY CONCERN

Our village is normally a place of peace and tranquility. But lately there has been much concern about a young woman who is expecting a baby. That’s normally a reason to celebrate and a blessing for the village. But she isn’t married, at least not by me.

I am concerned and a Rabbi shouldn’t be concerned about such things.

MY CONFUSION

Even more troubling is that she claims to still be a virgin, and that her baby comes from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps most upsetting is her claim that her son will be the Messiah. How she knows she will have a son is beyond me.

Saying such things is shameful and the whole village is in an uproar.

Her explanation is that the angel Gabriel told her these things. Well, she is certainly pregnant, we can all plainly see it. Personally, in all my years as Rabbi I have never heard such blasphemy.  Consider this:

  • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth.
  • When he comes he will overthrow our enemies.
  • He will be anointed with the Spirit of God.
  • He will proclaim freedom for prisoners and preach good news to the poor.
  • The Messiah will sit on the throne of David and reign over the kingdom.

This thirteen year old girl, whom we’ve known since she was born, couldn’t possibly bring the Messiah into the world. And Joseph, although a good man, is nothing more than a carpenter’s apprentice. The King of Kings who will lift up a banner to the nations just couldn’t come from these people. They are too common, too ordinary, there’s not anything special about them. It’s more than implausible, it’s impossible.

I’m confused and a Rabbi shouldn’t be confused.

baby-jesus-mary-joseph-by-dewey
They don’t appear to be royalty. That doesn’t appear to be a royal palace. It’s not really close to anything resembling the divine or the miraculous. It can’t be. 

MY BELIEF

I have always believed that when the Son of David comes he will come in royalty, with gifts befitting a King. That the cherubim and seraphim will appear to praise and glorify the Lord and to announce the birth of our Emanuel. That great signs will appear and emissaries from the nations will come to worship him. That the birth of Christ will be a merry event and celebrated around the world.

But no, not this girl, not this village, I’m just not seeing it. 

 

 

 

A Gracious Grandmother

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Four

We have lived on this land for hundreds of years, well, I mean we and our ancestors. It’s our home and the only place I’ve ever known, the only place I’ve ever wanted to be. And why would I ever want to leave? What could possibly move me from the birthplace of my mother and grandmother and her grandmother? The answer is nothing at all.

Rueben and I have eight children, five sons and three precious jewels for daughters, may the Lord be praised. My second is Miriam, or Mary, as her name is known outside of our culture. King Solomon said that foolishness is fixed in the heart of a child, and by long experience we know his words are true.

Well, Except for Mary

She has been a wonderful child, beautiful of heart, lovely of soul, and sweet of spirit and no daughter has ever been more loving. Her constant devotion has been to give praise to the Lord and to bring honor to her dad.

When she turned seven we pledged her to Joseph, the youngest son of our village carpenter and mason. We believed it a good match, that he would become as his father, a Godly and righteous man. It was our joy to watch them grow up and were confident that they would do well in the eyes of the lord. .

Well, Except for Mary

Try to imagine our devastation when she told us she that was with child. We wept and grieved, for it couldn’t be, it was unacceptable and inexcusable. She offered an explanation but we didn’t believe her, it was just too much to believe.

She promised us that she and Joseph had not been together, which Joseph also affirmed, which for him meant that she had been with another. He was torn apart and quickly pursued dissolving the pledge. How could she do this to him? We kept thinking…

“A daughter doesn’t immerse her family in shame by violating her virtue.”

But then, something happened, Joseph changed his mind. He told us an angel had appeared to him and said that Mary ‘s pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit, and that her virtue was intact. He spoke with faith’s conviction and his eyes were full of truth. We believed him. And I marveled at my daughter for no one could have coped with the accusations, public shame, and personal devastation, not a girl anywhere.

Well, Except for Mary

It was then our families gathered and joyously listened as they shared their angel stories, and told them over and over. It was beautiful. My daughter’s son, my grandson, will be called the Son of the Most High and will inherit King David’s throne and reign over the kingdom of God. May the birth of the Christ child be merry!

He is to be the Messiah, the Lord’s Anointed, and will bring good news to the poor and bind the broken hearted.

My grandson will be Yeshua, the salvation of God, and I will hold him in my arms.

baby born

So, I prayed and vowed that I would protect and care for my daughter and grandson in every way possible. God didn’t choose me to be the Messiah’s mother, he chose my daughter, and so, like my Heavenly Father, I have chosen her too.

I will love as no mother, or grandmother, has ever loved.

May the Lord grant me the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, and the fortitude of Deborah, the Judge of Israel, for I pledge my life to the two people whom all evil will set its might against.

I am Abarrane, mother of Mary and grandmother to Yeshua.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

It’s Time For Me to Go

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Three

You haven’t known me but I’ve known you for everything was put into being by me. I am God. You will say, “Wait, we do you know you,” but no, you haven’t, not really.

A sacrifice was essential, and it was agreed that it would be me. This meant I would:

  • let go of my equality as God
  • renounce divinity and sovereignty
  • leave the throne of glory
  • become a man born from a woman
  • be obedient even to death on a cross

You have called me Lord, Sovereign and King, and those are right and true. But soon  the name you will connect with the most is:

Jesus of Nazareth

You will come to know me as Emanuel, Messiah, the Son of God

   God will become something less to achieve something more. I know it borders on the bizarre, but you are the final act in the act of creation and your needs are immense, seemingly impossible. But what is impossible with man is possible with God.

Humanity’s salvation will not be achieved by God in heaven, but by man on earth.

The plan made before man walked the earth was for me to come to you. This will be done so that you can know how much you are loved. It’s impossible for you to repair your own spiritual condition, and your condition is that you have separated yourselves from us and have no way back.

So, rather than leave you detached and distant, your God is coming near.

   The angels have praised and glorified my name. The great and fearsome cherubim and seraphim have declared my excellence. With a final divine thought I empty myself of all that makes me deity, it’s been set aside to be reclaimed on the day I return.

In one of your “blinks of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will place me in the womb of young woman in Nazareth, in Galilee. She is a virgin whom we favor for she is remarkable, full of faith and obedience. She has a heart as pure as the snows of Mt. Herman. Soon she will be my mother.

My birth will fulfill prophecies, be announced by angels and witnessed by herdsmen. It will be good news for all the people and accompanied by miraculous signs, for my birth will be miraculous.

cole-angel-shepherds

Now, if you will excuse me, it is time for me go. In a moment of splendorous majesty, God the Father and God the Spirit have anointed me, and I have been sent.

Take heart and do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is coming to you and my coming will be joyous and most merry!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

 

 

 

Halos and Wings: Maybe?

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Two

    There isn’t a memory of my not being here. As far as I can determine I have always been in the presence of God. To comprehend his presence requires a language that none of you speak, it’s angelic and beyond your grasp. For you were made just a little lower. Words like glory, splendor, majesty and radiance speak of his presence, but again, they are limited in scope.

I have found that many believe that we angels look something like this: 

IMG_0029
Little angels to be sure, but not exactly what we look like; close, really very close, but no and especially not the big, goofy one in the back.

    It’s believed that angels have bright, shiny halo’s and wings of fluffy white feathers, it’s a common belief. In truth, we can appear in almost any form.

THE LORD

The Lord is our boss and we exist awaiting his will. Most of our work is giving messages to mortals. Sometimes we look divine and sometimes not.

AND ME?

My name is Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God. I am sent to speak to those the Lord want’s spoken to. I deliver his messages and my favorites are the messages of good news.

For example, one day I was standing with the heavenly host, just plumping and fluffing my wings, when the Lord spoke my name.

(we don’t really count time in days, it’s just for your benefit) 

“Gabriel” the voice of God said.

“Yes, Lord, how may I serve you”?

“I need you to give some news to a couple of people. Are you ready”?

“Yes, Lord, always,” I said. “What is your command”?

“I need you to speak to Zechariah the priest, you will find him serving in the temple. Tell him that his wife is going to have a baby, that they will name him John, and that he will be the messenger for my anointed one”.

This was momentous, it was huge, for we the heavenly host have known for thousands of years that a day would come when our Lord would give salvation to the world. John’s coming was the first active step towards the Messiah’s birth. And I have been chosen to deliver the message. Wow, I wouldn’t want to be around Michael tonight, I’m sure he thought he would get this one.

And then, I had no more than returned when he sent me back. He sent me to a young Jewish girl named Mary.

He said, “Tell her that she will be with child from the power of the Holy Spirit and that she is to name him Yeshua, meaning God Saves! That he will be called the Son of the Most High and will inherit the throne of David.”

Wow, talk about an important mission with an essential message. Yeshua, born to a virgin and destined to die for Yahweh’s creation. First it was Zechariah, Elizabeth and John, and now Yeshua announces the time of Emanuel, for God to be with his people!

GOD’S SON

I have served the Son of God for millenniums and now the Lord is sending his Anointed. Soon he will leave to go and do what was chosen before time, to provide salvation for the world.

THE SACRED

These assignments were crafted from the sacred and divine. There has been nothing else as important.

I tell you that I am Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God. I give witness that his grace and mercy are coming to your land. A savior will be born to you and it will be good news for all the people.

It will be good news of the most merry kind.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

When God Spoke of Christmas

NOTE-This December series is a narrative based on scripture and fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Thank you.

The Voices of Christmas

Part One

I don’t feel the need to explain myself, for I am the Lord Almighty, The Great I Am. I existed before you and before time began. But I share these words with you because you are my greatest creation and my most prized possession.

THE PLAN

It was never my plan to leave you alone and lonely. It was never my intention to abandon, ignore or forget you, for how could a loving father forget his children? No, my plan has always been to give you an overwhelming measure of amazing grace. I created you to save you, but you could never be saved until you knew you needed saving.

The saving part has finally come.

Because I am God you must know that I have a universe of options and choices. Your salvation could have been achieved in as many ways as there are stars in your sky. It could happen in any fashion or circumstance of my choosing.

Starry Sky
A universe of stars, a universe of choices for the Lord our God. He chose us.

But I decided to save you by sending myself to the earth. Don’t be confused, the self I send will be my Son, for we are three but one. I know, it’s not an easy concept, and it would be simpler if I revealed myself as a single deity. But once you think about it you will realize that this is better. You see, the Father, Son, and Spirit reflect the nature of  man and woman. You are uniquely male and female because of us, for we are your family, and to bring salvation to the world will require a family. We have one in mind.

THE SON

Our son will be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. On the day and moment of my choosing he will be born to the woman we determined ahead of time. You will learn more about this later. But it will happen and when it does all creation will cry out in glory to my name.

BY THE WAY…

You won’t be saved because of his birth. No, it’s not his brith that will save you but his death. Yes, you heard me right. Our son will be born to die and his death will make your salvation real. Not to overwhelm you, but more than his death will be his resurrection that provides eternal life. You see, because of his resurrection you will have hope, the living hope of the resurrected, living Messiah.

Why are we doing this? Because we love you and want to give you the greatest gift of all, the gift of the Son of God, it will be a merry event!

Now I must go. The time has come and the Spirit and I have a few things to say to the Son before he empties himself of power and dominion and becomes a fetus within a young woman’s womb. She lives in Nazareth, it’s a tiny village in Galilee.

Be strong and courageous. More details will come.

My Love To All,

Your Heavenly Father

A Beautiful Day For a Wedding

Sunday afternoon I was in College Station to perform a wedding. The happy couple are members of my church and have planned long and prepared well. It was a joy and an honor to officiate their wedding as a wedding is about getting married.

Yesterday they had their wedding, today they are married.

The word “wedding” comes from the Old English “weddian” meaning, “a pledge.” A wedding is the joining of two people who have pledged to each other.

A wedding gives birth to a marriage. 

Weddings are rich in tradition and range from the fabulously expensive big white wedding to two people standing in my office. Typically, weddings contain the following elements:

  • Someone to perform the ceremony
  • A wedding license
  • Vows or words of promise
  • Rings
  • A verbal response of “I do”
  • The pronouncement of “husband and wife”
  • A kiss of some kind

I perform on average six weddings a year. Some are held in churches while others are event/destination weddings. Some are members of my church and some are from the community. Half a dozen a year doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been doing them for forty years.

Some observations from having officiated 240 weddings:

  • Grooms are typically nervous, perspire and wonder why all the expense and fuss.
  • It’s a priceless look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride walking up the aisle.
  • I’ve never seen a bride walk the aisle who wasn’t smiling radiantly.
  • Someone cries: the bride, groom, parent, grandparent, or all of them.
  • No matter what they say, wedding pictures never take “just a few minutes.”
  • Receptions are about: relief, joy, tears, celebration, pride, and a little sadness too.

Weddings are rich in tradition and laced with sacred customs.

KrisandraEvans.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Yonah Mountain Vineyard
Not us, or our wedding place, but close, really very close.

I’ve performed weddings in huge churches, tiny churches, standing in two feet of snow, standing on the edge of mountain cliffs, next to rivers, in homes and wedding chapels, in the parlors of Bed and Breakfasts, in my office and all kinds of places.

The two most memorable weddings?

My own and my daughters.

 

 

 

 

The Loyal Sports Fan

Team loyalty gets me into trouble with the friendly and the not so friendly. I know, already you are asking, “What?” Well, does team loyalty necessitate an acidic hatred of all other players, coaches, teams and cities?

Some say a definitive yes. I dare to say a cautious no. 

Don’t hate me.

 FAN LOYALTY?

  • Root for the local team, hate all others.
  • If two local teams: swear undying loyalty to whoever came first.
  • Only wear the caps, shirts, jackets and underwear of your team.
  • Amp up support for post season events.
  • Face painting strongly recommended, but not absolute.
  • Body painting for men with weight problems acceptable.
  • Tailgate & halftime parties, snacks, and victory celebrations required.
  • Boo, hiss, complain, insult, yell, and throw things at opposing teams
  • (If watching on TV, ignore the thing about throwing stuff)

HERE’S A THING

What happens when your company relocates you to another city? Do you remain loyal to your old team or do you drop them and embrace a new one?

EXAMPLES…

If you get transferred from Boston to Dallas are you required to hate the Patriots and love the Cowboys?

If you get transferred from Houston to New York are you required to hate the Astros and love the Yankees?

I know, the wisdom of Solomon wouldn’t be enough. 

Speaking of loyalty, should you be loyal to your spouse only when you are in town? Can you be unfaithful as long as you are in another city? Shouldn’t spousal loyalty be absolute regardless of where you are? Does geography determine loyalty?

Here’s another: Do you still love America when you are out of the country? Based on Fan Loyalty Guidelines, when I’m in Port-au-Prince, Mexico City,  Beijing or Jerusalem I should be loyal to Haiti, Mexico, China and Israel. It’s just a thought.

AND ME?

Forty years ago I became a Florida Gator fan. It doesn’t matter why. We currently live in Houston, Texas and have for 23 years. It’s been tough as there are several college teams of note in this state. Here is how I’ve steered through these shark-infested waters.

Florida Field
That’s not me there on the left. Close, really very close, but no. 
  • I love the Texas Aggies, Longhorns, Red-Raiders, Cougars, Horned Frogs, Mustangs and Bears and just over 1200 high school teams.
  • I love the: Texans, Cowboys, Astros, Rangers, Rockets and Mavericks

Sure, I have my favorites, but I don’t boo, hiss, say horrible things or chuck stuff at the other players. Can I cheer, root, clap, and support my team without hating and denigrating the other teams and players?

NOW JESUS

His disciples once rebuked a man for trying to do miracles. Jesus told them to leave him alone, that he wasn’t their enemy.

Speaking of enemies, Jesus taught his followers to pray for them, to be kind to those who would persecute them, and to forgive everyone.

I know, it’s tough to discuss sports and fan loyalty when you bring Jesus into it. 

TO CLOSE

This morning I’m giving thanks that even though he loved his fellow Israelites, Jesus still offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for all others too. Like me.

Thank you Jesus for not booing, hissing, yelling or saying horrible things or throwing things at me because I’m not from Jerusalem. You are the best!

Shalom

What Kids Do

FROM PROVERS 22:15

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child”. 

I guess that’s right, it sure seems to be.

  • Adam and Eve had trouble with Cain
  • Noah cursed one of his sons
  • Eli’s sons were wicked men
  • David had a son who plotted to steal his throne
  • He had another son who raped his sister
  • Isaac was lied to and deceived by a son
  • Jacob had sons who wanted to kill one of their brothers
  • Joseph and Mary had sons who didn’t believe in Jesus
  • Aaron’s sons were killed because of their foolishness
  • The children of Israel were stubborn, rebellious and sinful

WHAT ABOUT ME?

  • At five years old I buried my mom’s watch
  • At eight I set the back fence on fire
  • At eleven I got caught for public mischief
  • At twelve I got swats for talking too much in class
  • At fourteen I burned up some cotton trailers
  • At seventeen I went around town opening fire hydrants

WHAT ABOUT JESUS?

He was twelve when he separated himself from his parents and stayed behind in Jerusalem while they traveled north to Nazareth. When Joseph and Mary discovered he wasn’t with the caravan they headed back and it took them three days to find him. When they did, they were not happy. Nor were they impressed that he was sitting with the Rabbi’s studying and discussing the Torah.

TO CLOSE

I could tell stories of my own kids, but I won’t. But I’ll leave you with this. Kids can be foolish, impulsive, rebellious, unwise, disobedient and snarky. They are capable of mischief, breaking the law, fighting, stealing, cheating, lying, and other such behaviors.

Not all kids do all those things. I didn’t. But I did enough. Moms and Dads, I love you and pray for you and I know sometimes you want to pull your hair out. It’s okay, go ahead. But also know that from the first family on the planet to the very last, parents will know frustration and even heartbreak over what their kids can do.

Hang in there. You are in good company!

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.”

World’s Biggest of its Kind

HERE’S SOMETHING

According to the internet the biggest car wash in the world is here in the Houston area.

Also big is the Astrodome that opened in 1965 and was the world’s first multi-purpose sports stadium and the first air-conditioned dome. It cost $35 million to build and into today’s economy would cost $278 million. It was dubbed,

“The Eighth Wonder of the World”

There is an anti-Astrodome group who lobbies to have it torn down to make room for  parking and green space. However, early in 2018 Harris County Commissioners voted unanimously to restore the Dome at a cost of $105.

POLITICS?

The chief advocate for Dome revival was Ed Emmett but he lost his seat on the Commission to Lina Hildago who steered the Commission to put a hold on Dome renewal believing that Houston needs to invest funds in flood control and other needs essential for a better quality of life for its residents. So once again, the debate rages and it seems unclear if the plans for the Dome will resume or not.

Dome 1Dome 2

NOW JESUS

One day in sunny Jerusalem, the Christ was teaching the crowds in the temple courts. Some of his disciples commented on the stones used for the temple, and rightly so, for  the base stones weighed 165,000 pounds each.

They said, “Look, Rabbi, What massive stones, what magnificent buildings”.

Jesus had some interesting interactions with stones, of which Judea had no short supply.

  • The temptation in the desert, “Tell these stones to become bread”.
  • “God can raise up these stones to become children of Abraham”.
  • Speaking of children, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out”.
  • “And they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus slipped away.”

Big or small, for good or evil, stones, rocks and boulders were a daily part of life in Judea. Houses were built of stone walls, as were fences and buildings.

He would also say of the temple to his impressionable disciples,

“All these stones will be torn down, not one will be left upon another”.

FOR HOUSTON

Houston has other impressive buildings, quite a few actually. But perhaps nothing as impressive as the Dome, or at least as it once was. Will it stand? Will it be torn down? Who knows?

But perhaps it’s not the most impressive thing. For somewhere in the Houston suburb of Katy is the world’s largest car wash. It’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records. Its 255 feet in length, which is almost a football field. Seems fitting since the Dome was the home of the Houston Oilers Football Team, as well as and Astros. It’s still home for the Houston Rodeo, which receives 2.5 million visitors annually.

TO CLOSE

I just ask that we take a moment to see Jesus, high and lifted up, and offer a simple word of praise to his name. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and is bigger than Buc-ee’s Car Wash.

Car Wash
Pretty Impressive Huh?

Is Washington Defeated?

It’s not everyone who gets Ga-Ga about sports, but lots of us do. I’m not sure why. Here are a few suggestions:

  • we have nothing better to do
  • competition boils the blood
  • a proclivity for getting attached
  • community pride
  • love sports like professional wrestling and hi alai
  • the spectacle and pagentry
  • we miss the gladiatorial days of blood sport

Maybe.

HOUSTON ASTROS

The Houston Astros are in the World Series with the Washington Nationals. Houstonians thought we would smoke the Nationals four games to none. We didn’t.

The Nationals came to Houston and won the first two games, and the second game was a total blow out. The sporting world was stunned. I was. It was crazy. The Nationals were unbothered by our Hall of Fame pitching and unfazed by our rowdy Texas crowds. They flew back confident that with three games in their home park they would win the Series. They didn’t.

It was Houston’s turn to stun the sporting world by winning all three games. Two of them were total blow outs. The Astros return to Houston for the final two games. We believe one is all they need, the next one.

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THE FANS

People get a little nuts in professional sports playoffs. They throw things at the opposing players. They boo. They shout profanities. They yell ugly words and say tacky things. Wow, tacky things, sounds rough.

It’s all in fun, right? Sure it is. Of course it is because it’s only a game. So hearing people shout, “Let’s kill em,” shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

THE CROWDS

People get carried away when they are upset, angry and jealous. In France they shouted, “Off with his head, off with his head.” In the old west the crowd shouted, “Lynch him, string him up.” In more modern times, “Gas him” or “Give the Chair.” In ancient Rome the crowd voted for death with a thumbs up or thumbs down.

In Jerusalem, with Jesus on trial, they shouted, “Crucify him, crucify him.” Was it all in good fun? Only a game? Was the crowd just a little rowdy?

No, they were genuinely riled up. Not for sport, or politics, or food or human rights. It was about religion. The craziest stuff of all happens when people are consumed with religious hate and bent on religious violence.

Riots, ethnic cleanings, genocide, inquisitions, violent crusades, murders, and lynchings  are but a few examples of religious fanaticism.

In crucifying Jesus his opponents believed they delivered a total blow out. They didn’t.

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IN CLOSING

I like fan fanaticism. It makes the game more interesting, the sport more appealing, and the playoffs more intense.

Religious fanaticism? Well, no thank you.