Pastor's Blog

A Christmas Invitation

One of the most treasured parts of our church community is its global flavor. There are at least 15 different nationalities represented at St. John’s, an amazing variety of peoples that mirrors the boundary-crossing mission of Jesus himself. Just three miles from Nazareth where Jesus drew up, there was a major crossroads through which people from all over the world passed. There, Jesus experienced firsthand what was often called “Galilee of the Nations” (Isaiah 9:1). It’s something to keep in mind when reading about Jesus’ ministry to individuals like the Samaritan woman who he befriended as a Jew despite the centuries of animosity between them (John 4). Then there was Jesus’ commenda

Christmas When It Hurts

This has been a week of unexpected sadness at St. John’s. Monday morning I received a call from long time members of our church family, Frank and Bobbi Allen, informing me that their grandson, who has lived with them for many years, had died in his sleep. Jeremy McKinney Allen was well known to many of us, he was a member of our youth group under the leadership of Scott & Mel Bomar, he had many long-time friends at St. John’s, and several like me had just wished him a happy 30th birthday. Like you, I felt shock and deep sadness that someone so young was taken from us. We will be having a funeral service for Jeremy at Forest Home, Hollywood Hills on Thursday, December 21st at 2:30pm. The deat

Embassies of the Heart

An old friend called me this week asking what I thought about the current administration’s plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Before I answered I told him that my experience in the Holy Land brought me into touch with Jews and Palestinians alike, and that I found people of good will on both sides. Sadly, it is the peacemakers - like Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin - who have often paid the highest price: both men were assassinated by extreme factions among their own people. The key to understanding the current conflict and the struggle over Jerusalem is that Jews and Arabs have both been pushed around for centuries, and at times treated crue

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