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 +
Nov 18, 2014

A Curious Tangent or the Main Point?

Ephesians 5:22-33
Just about every commentary on Ephesians labels 5:22-33 something like “Instructions for Marriage,” and for good reason. This passage focuses on the relationship between husband and wife. It is the first section of a three-part household code that also speaks to relationships between children and parents as well as slaves...Read more +
Nov 17, 2014

Should Wives Love Their Husbands Also?

Ephesians 5:22-33
Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Verse 28 adds that husbands should “love their wives as their own bodies.” Verse 33 reiterates that “each husband must love his wife as he loves himself.” This passage leaves no doubt about the primary responsibility of...Read more +
Nov 16, 2014

Radical Inclusion

Romans 12:1
When our family began to worship as part of our current church a few years ago, I was captivated by one of the church’s core values: “Everyone gets to play.” Our faith isn’t a spectator sport. We were all made to contribute to the Body of Christ in our unique...Read more +
Nov 15, 2014

What We Do Between the First and Second...

Titus 2:11-14
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul writes about the two appearances of Jesus Christ. The first appearing of Jesus Christ brought with it the grace of salvation (v. 11). This grace teaches us inwardly how to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly...Read more +