Jan 24, 2015

Like a Jar of Expensive Perfume

Matthew 26:7
Recently my nine-year-old son Rowan, a beginner violist, attempted to tune his instrument before performing a Christmas “concert” for his grandparents. After an hour of fruitless fiddling and many frustrated tears, Rowan finally allowed my dad to call a local music shop for help. They found someone willing to squeeze...Read more +
Jan 23, 2015

What Does It Mean That Jesus Came to...

Matthew 5:17-20
When Jesus said that he came to “fulfill the law and the prophets,” he meant it—literally. He came to fulfill the scriptures with himself. For about 200 years the scribes and Pharisees had been the go-to experts on how to read the Bible. Until Jesus offered this strange new way...Read more +
Jan 22, 2015

The Anatomy of the Light of the World

Matthew 5:14-16
Light! It has captured the curiosity of scientists, philosophers, theologians—and common people like you and me. The scientific community continues to make new discoveries about the properties and activities of light. Light is generally defined by its speed, photons traveling 299,792,458 meters per second. These photons are tiny bundles of...Read more +
Jan 21, 2015

Stay Salty, My Friend

Matthew 5:13-16
In the year that Rachel Remen’s father declared bankruptcy, the family agreed that all Christmas gifts should be homemade. But laying there in the middle of all the homemade gifts was one velvet box—from her father. Because it was the year of Rachel’s thirteenth birthday her father had violated the...Read more +
Jan 20, 2015

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Matthew 5:3-12
Jesus has been describing blessings that come to those who hand over the reins of life to his control. It’s certainly a demanding life, and sometimes we expect that those who live it would be rewarded with clear skies and smooth sailing. Not so. As the cynical old saying goes,...Read more +
Jan 19, 2015

Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again

Matthew 5:3-10
There is so little peace in the world. Sometimes it seems so full of simmering hostility and rage. It’s even deadly for God to visit this world that he has made. Perhaps that’s why peace is so deeply important to Jesus. He begins his Sermon on the Mount by blessing...Read more +
Jan 18, 2015

Beyond the Issue of Money

Romans 13:7
“Whoa!” my nine-year-old son Rowan gasped, leaning forward to get a closer look at the meter. “We’ve already spent five dollars, and we haven’t even started driving yet!” I leaned across my two kids in the backseat and whispered to my husband what our friend had told us the night...Read more +
Jan 17, 2015

Divine Human Connections

Ezekiel 11:19
Last year’s protests in Ferguson and New York left me longing for a time when we could all be on the same page, or at least in agreement about what injustice looks like and how sin has complicated our differing interpretations of it. Cultural and ideological divisions are so commonplace...Read more +
Jan 16, 2015

Find Focus in a World of Distraction

Matthew 5:3-10
Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount with a description of eight provocative blessings. If you were to think of these blessings as eight mountains in the grand Himalayan chain, I think many would find today’s blessing to be Mount Everest—the most difficult of all—to be pure in heart ...Read more +
Jan 15, 2015

Gnats, Camels, and the Mercy of God

Matthew 5:3-10
Mercy is equal parts forgiveness and compassion. Mercy is God’s chief attribute. Do a quick Google search of “the Lord is merciful,” and one reference after another will appear. Mercy is also God’s chief directive to us. He tells the prophet Hosea, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6)...Read more +