by Bil Aulenbach

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Jesus

The Jesus Family Rift

Has your family ever had a rift that prevented members from loving each other? As a retired psychotherapist, I am always surprised at how many families have had or still have interfamily conflicts. Family rifts are more common than one might think. Fact is, it seems to be the rare family that doesn’t have conflict in its history.… Read more >

From Glad to Mad—in the Blink of an Eye

Our weekly Bible study group is currently reading the Gospel of Luke, written around the turn of the first century CE. Luke is religious history (accuracy isn’t important) about the pre-Jesus, told through the metaphor of resurrection. Our group has studied Jesus’s birth, his youth, and his baptism, and now we’re studying his early ministry.… Read more >

Mother Teresa and Doubting Thomas

The story of Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-29) takes place at the end of the Gospel of John. Like the rest of the Gospel, the Doubting Thomas tale is not a true story but rather what we call religious history. The truth is inside the story. The surface story says that Thomas the Twin (rumored to be the twin brother of Jesus, but that idea has never been substantiated) was not in the room for Jesus’s first appearance to the disciples after his crucifixion.… Read more >

The Lord’s Prayer Is Not the Prayer of the Lord

The title of this blog is confusing at first, so let’s start with the fact that the Lord’s Prayer appears in only two places in the Bible. The first and more familiar version is in Matthew, written between 85 to 95 CE: “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.… Read more >

Embellishing an Embellishment

The festival of Epiphany, derived from a Greek word that means “an appearance or manifestation,” always falls on January 6 in the church’s liturgical calendar. Epiphany is the occasion when Followers remember the story of the wise men who supposedly came from afar to recognize Jesus as the King of kings.… Read more >

Let’s Take Another Look

One of Jesus’s best-known parables is the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30. The story is about a wealthy man who goes on a journey and loans three of his slaves some talents (one of which was worth more than a laborer’s salary for fifteen years). The first slave receives five talents, the second receives two, and the third receives one.… Read more >

Advent: “Coming” to What?

Advent, according to Dictionary.com, is a word of Latin origin with several similar meanings:

  1. A coming into place, view, or being; arrival.
  2. The coming of Christ into the world.
  3. The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.
  4. Second Coming.

I like the first definition.… Read more >

Jesus—the Spoiled Brat

According to one early gospel, the boy Jesus does not sound like a very nice person. I’m glad he wasn’t my neighbor or playmate when I was a kid!

Let me share a couple of stories about this mean-tempered, foul-mouthed Jesus when he was five. Jesus was out playing by himself when a neighbor boy came by and watched Jesus build little water ponds in the ground.… Read more >

How the Early Church Got Rid of Jesus

Happy Belated Ascension Day. This always happens forty days after Easter and this year was on Thursday May 25. Many Christians don’t know anything about an ascension. Interestingly, neither Paul nor the authors of Mark, Matthew, Peter, or John ever mention it. Only Luke and Acts (written by the same author) allude to such an event.… Read more >