Lent 4

I think the devotional writer’s first thought about the readings are good enough to be simply quoted. “Taken at face value, this Numbers text (and lots of numbers texts, really) is weird and, frankly, makes God out to be a jerk. (Surviving the Bible, p. 111) The book of Numbers makes three appearances in the…

Lent 3

Me beside a scale model of first century Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple. Jerusalem: February 1998. John 2:13-22 13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.14In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. 15Making a whip of cords, he drove all of…

Lent 2

34 Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the…

Lent 1

I found the material in the devotional guide, Surviving the Bible very interesting this week. Particularly the section entitled, Digging Deeper (p. 90-91). In this section is the discussion of how God “weakens” Godself in order to relate to humanity. God does this by entering into a series of covenants by which God limits Godself…

Transfiguration

Even though I have been preaching about the Transfiguration of Jesus every year for almost 25 years I am still pretty perplexed by the whole thing. I think most people are. I wonder what folks think when they come into church and see that it is Transfiguration Sunday. Do you think, “Wow, this is a…

Epiphany 5

Mark 1:29-39 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left…

Epiphany 4

  1 Corinthians 8:1-13 8Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him. 4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols,…

Epiphany 3

Imagine that you get a text on your phone that says, “BALLISTIC MISSLE THREAT INBOUND, SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” First I would be surprised that that message ended with a period. I think, if any sentence deserves to end with an exclamation mark it is this one. The style manuals say…

Epiphany 2

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20] Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51 I always feel bad for poor old, half blind Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh who Samuel is about to replace. Eli was of the priestly tribe of Levi and he tended the temple of the Lord where the Ark of…

Baptism of Our Lord

I am fascinated by the image of boundaries presented by the scriptures for this week. I suppose part of this is because of the debates about boundaries and walls in our political discourse today. (BTW: I DO NOT want to get into discussions of particular political policies or politicians in this blog!!!) There seems to…