Wausau Alliance Church

Devotionals

What is Gained by Jesus’ Weeping?

It’s nearing the Passover. The Passover was the time where faithful first-century Jews celebrated the rescue of their ancestors from their tyrannical overlords. The story of the Passover was that of the death of the firstborn of all in Egypt, with the exception of those who butchered a lamb and smeared blood on their doorposts. The Passover was the eve of the great Exodus, where God led his people out of captivity and into the wilderness, before entrance into the Promised Land. This Promised Land is where Abraham once walked; the land of promise that God pledged to Abraham’s descendants,…

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The Unwrapping

The world has changed seemingly overnight. We began the year making plans that are now irrelevant. Markets are in an apparent tailspin, and the healthcare system is holding its breath. Many authorities have now issued shelter-in-place orders, hoping to stave off the invisible invasion and sending many people home to stay.  In this isolation, what we euphemistically call “safer-at-home” here in Wisconsin we are confronted with another stressor we likely didn’t consider. We are faced with ourselves. We may be with our families, or maybe we live alone, or with a roommate, but either way our person-to-person interactions are minimal….

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Death and Hope in a Pandemic

When I started this Lenten blog series, I didn’t anticipate it would be in the midst of a pandemic. With the death toll in the thousands, vulnerable populations are dying as the virus has ravaged whole communities. And yet, in times like these the topic and discussion of death becomes much more relevant and pressing.  Death comes for us all. A pandemic represents the fear of the invisible foe. We cannot see a virus, and this virus has the world watching in horror as it destroys and disrupts. A pandemic represents all that is vile about Death.  How does the…

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Death is the End

Most of us don’t remember learning about Abigail in Sunday School. But Abigail tells us a vivid picture of the gospel. Abigail is married to a wicked husband, whose name is Nabal, which in Hebrew means “fool.” The Lord strikes Nabal dead, freeing Abigail from marriage to the wicked man so that she becomes a queen. Death is the end. It is final. Any attempt we have to downplay Death’s permanence reveals its falsity and rings hollow. And yet, the gospel is about the sad things becoming untrue, and the tragedies transformed to epics. What is it that the gospel…

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Death Seeks Company: Sin is a Destroyer

In this Lenten devotional series we are looking at Death. Death is capitalized for a reason, because of sin, Death takes on a larger than life role in all of our lives. There is no greater certainty in our life than it will end in Death. And yet, we insistently push Death to the margins. Death is taboo. It’s the thing that we watch on TV, but don’t talk about in polite company.  That’s why this Lent, we’re meditating on Death. It’s a long standing tradition in the church. Our theological ancestors did it, calling it by the name memento…

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Ashes to Ashes: Experiencing Intimacy with God in our Brokenness

Death overcomes us all. Decay and suffering are our pathway to the doors of death. The posture of our reading carries a lot into our understanding of words. Today, when you reflect on the curse given to Adam as a result of sin, read these words from the crucified Jesus, who speaks truth to the reality of sin. By the sweat of your face    You shall eat bread,        till you return to the           ground,    for out of it you were taken; For you are dust,     and to dust you shall           return. Genesis 3:19 There is a futility to life, a…

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