Nov 28, 2014

Have Mercy!

Psalm 123:1-4
I have a confession to make. It won’t impress you with my godliness but perhaps with my cultural saturation. Here it goes: when I hear the word mercy , I sometimes think of the Batman TV series from the late 1960s. Specifically, I can hear the voice of Madge Blake...Read more +
Nov 27, 2014

Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Dinner Twice

Ephesians 5:18-20
Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals. I suppose it has something to do with nostalgia, happy memories, and a chance to enjoy a meal with loved ones. But I also delight in the basic food of the Thanksgiving table: turkey (both light and dark meat), gravy, stuffing, mashed...Read more +
Nov 26, 2014

Should We Really Give Thanks for Everything?

Ephesians 5:18-20
Ephesians 5:20 urges us to give thanks to God the Father for everything . For everything? Really? Are we to thank the Lord for pain and suffering? For heresy and falsehood? For depression and death? For sinfulness and evil? For despair and darkness? Common sense suggests that we should not...Read more +
Nov 25, 2014

Can We Really Give Thanks Always?

Ephesians 5:18-20
Certain biblical imperatives have often made me feel like a spiritual nincompoop. “Pray without ceasing” is one of those (1 Thes. 5:17, ESV). No matter what it really means to “pray without ceasing,” I’m quite sure I don’t do it. And don’t even get me started on “Be perfect, therefore,...Read more +
Nov 24, 2014

Giving Thanks in the Spirit and the...

Ephesians 5:18-20
On Thursday of this week, citizens of the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday dedicated to thanking God for his blessings. In reality, of course, for many Americans, this holiday is actually dedicated more to feasting and football than to gratitude. But, it seems good, nevertheless, to focus...Read more +
Nov 23, 2014

An Antidote to Worry

Philippians 4:6-8
He had the nurses turn his bed to face the window. “I like to watch the sun come through,” he says. I move over and slat the blinds, look down onto the street—onto one of those beautiful cherry trees that reaches up with red-fruited fingers to scratch on the glass...Read more +
Nov 22, 2014

More Than "Being Good"

Matthew 5:16
It’s a humble sort of word, goodness . Perhaps that’s why we often overlook it or underestimate its creative power as a prophetic witness of the Kingdom of God. When we create good, we are co-creating with God. Creating good is one of the great joys of the Christian life...Read more +
Nov 21, 2014

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Psalm 122:1-9
It seems sadly ironic that Psalm 122:6 is still just as relevant today as it was when it was written about three millennia ago. If anything, the peace of Jerusalem is even more fragile and more essential to the well-being of the world than it was when David first composed...Read more +
Nov 20, 2014

Christ Feeds and Cares for the Church

Ephesians 5:25-33
This section of Ephesians 5 is based on a commonsensical observation: people nourish and take care of their own bodies. Of course, we can think of instances in which this is not true, cases where people have not fed or nurtured their bodies. But Paul is not worrying about the...Read more +
Nov 19, 2014

Christ Washes the Church

Ephesians 5:25-33
Christ, as head of the church, loved the church and gave himself up for her. But his sacrifice was not merely a demonstration of ultimate love. It also had a purpose: “to make [the church] holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her...Read more +