Over the course of the last 10 months, the mantra from presidential candidates to states’ governors to some guy commenting on Facebook has been “Trust the Science.” My governor, Tim Walz (DFL — MN), regularly makes use of the phrase to validate his executive orders covering everything from athletics to zoos.

In its corollary use, these three little words are the automatic response to any who push back against lockdowns, school closures, physical distancing, and mandatory masks, “You know what your problem is? You just don’t trust the science.”

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What science exactly are humans supposed to trust? The discipline of science is in a continual state of change. Researchers hypothesize, test, challenge, and often reverse previous conclusions with the result that science has been wrong at a head scratching rate. …

Sometimes the familiar is better than the novel and the previous better than the new. In this last Lunchtime Musing for 2020, would you read again or read for the first time, what I think are the most significant posts I wrote in 2020 for our church and for your life? They appear in the order they were written.

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I’ve never watched it, but most lists have The Lion King in their top ten watched movies of all time.

1. Our grandson is now a one-year-old. Shortly after his birth, I wrote The Kind of Grandpa I Want (and don’t want) to Be. …

The child asked, “Why are we singing a song that asks Jesus to come when he already came?” This was the question after we sang the Christmas song, O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Luke 2 records the birth of Jesus and events immediately following. According to the Law, parents of newborn boys took their infant sons to the priest for ceremonial affairs. The priest on duty when Joseph and Mary arrived with the baby Jesus was Simeon who was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). He was waiting for the promised Messiah to comfort the people (Isaiah 40:1), to fulfill the promise made first to Adam in the garden (Genesis 3:15), and to make his blessings known far as the curse is found. …

A Family Reunion Where No Fights Broke Out

I’ve never been to a family reunion. If I passed them on the street, I would not recognize anyone from the Jackson clan. As a child, I interacted little with Tom VerWay’s family. His parents were dead, many of his siblings lived out-of-state, and his nieces and nephews were much older than I. We simply were not around them very much. I did spend a lot of time with my mom’s family, including my cousins. But that was a long time ago. The last time I saw or spoke to a cousin on my mom’s side was five years ago at her funeral. My cousins are scattered around the country with only a few living in the Chicago area. …

Twenty years ago, December 3, 2000, our church went to church at a new church.

What is a church? It’s a group of Christians who regularly assemble in Jesus’s name to preach the gospel and to affirm one another as Christ-followers through baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

What is a church? It’s an event, as in, “What did I do on Sunday? I went to church.”

What is a church? In the vernacular of most, a church also can be a building.

Last Sunday, our church celebrated twenty years in our church when we gathered for church. COVID-19 prevented a celebration of the kind we wanted to have, but we rejoiced together at our Lord’s faithfulness to us since our move from South St. …

On Sunday, Ms. Cabrera died in an assisted living facility in Florida from a massive cerebral hemorrhage, according to her son. She was 69-years-old. None of us knows Ms. Cabrera, but her story is becoming all too common.

In 2018 Ms. Cabrera suffered a series of strokes making living on her own unrealistic. She moved into the ALF where she would receive all the help she needed in luxurious surroundings. Then COVID-19 arrived. What was supposed to be a cruise ship life for Ms. Cabrera became her prison. Visits from family came to an abrupt stop. Physical therapy was non-existent. She and the other residents were confined to their rooms. Her condition, both mental and physical, rapidly declined. …

I’m a big Fourth-of-July guy, and I understand the appeal of Christmas, but for me, the hands down winner of best holiday is Thanksgiving. For many of us this Thanksgiving will be different, but we still can embrace thankfulness.

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Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (Ps. 106:1).

For the last twenty years my privilege in service to our Lord has been ministering as a pastor to the people of First Calvary Baptist Church. Here’s my not all-inclusive Thanksgiving list.

  1. I thank the Lord for the honor that is mine to preach to a people hungry to hear God’s Word. I stand before kind and respectful persons who return week after week knowing I am the one in the pulpit. They open their Bibles expecting to hear from God and trust me to deliver it. …

Christians give because they follow the example of their Lord who gives abundantly. This week marks our fourth Abounding In Thanksgiving offering for 2020. These offerings support our mission partners around the world as we seek to fulfill the great commission. So, here are 20 ways to consider giving to the offering this week. Maybe these simple ideas (borrowed from writer Chuck Lawless) will help you think about gifts you might give to missions this year:

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“For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.”
  1. Give to God’s mission the equivalent of the dollars (plus at least one dollar more) that you plan to spend for Christmas presents.

From my earliest days, I was a Patriot. In the fall of 1974, I left Balmoral Elementary School for the third-grade class at Oak Forest Christian Academy, a new K-12 school that was a ministry of my family’s church. Our mascot…the Patriots.

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Sports teams from the NFL’s New England franchise to local high schools have Patriots as their mascot, including Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, Pequot Lakes High School in Pequot Lakes, MN, and Win-E-Mac High School in Erksine, MN

My uniform pants were checkered red, white, and blue. A tie pattern, taken from the star field on the United States flag, worn daily on a red, white, or blue dress shirt finished off my clothing routine. One of our main athletic rivals, the ministry of another local church, chose Minutemen for their mascot. …

In the last few days major writers and thinkers in the Christian community have voiced their struggles and conclusions about the national election one week from today. I make no claims of influence like they have, and frankly, am thankful not to have the responsibility and scrutiny their status claims.

So why write about how I will vote next Tuesday? My audience is small and targeted. I write for the church I pastor and for my children. …

Mike Verway

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