Author Archive

Surprised by a Snake

I have friends who like snakes and know a lot about them. They see them as amazing creatures with an important role in the food chain of insect and rodent control. I feel about snakes the way I do about poison ivy. That’s what I  bring to the strange-sounding words of Jesus when he says, […]

Epiphany

He gave us the season and moments of epiphany. Yet no one knew how much he would change his people’s reading of the Scripture or how controversial he would be. Only in time would it become clear that he was a different kind of Messiah—a different kind of prophet, priest, king, savior, lord, judge, warrior, teacher, […]

Irenaeus and the Word

Irenaeus was a second-century follower of Jesus known for his writings against heresy and for his summary of teachings handed down from the Apostles. Tutored by the martyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who in turn was taught by the Apostle John, Irenaeus is important because of the way he used both Old and New Testament […]

The Gospel of Matthew

Two days ago, Steve from West Virginia took time to tell us about the unexpected kindness that he and his son Matt saw at a local Dairy Queen. Their experience reminds me of another Matthew and another story. The New Testament Gospel according to Matthew shows how impressive and memorable mercy is when it shows […]

Empathy

Why does the Bible say nothing about how Eve was feeling after her first son killed his younger brother? Did word get back to her that, when asked where Abel was, Cain had said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Did she know that he seemed more concerned about losing the affections of his fields than […]

Forgive?

Does anyone deserve to be let off the hook of a wrong done? After ruining the lives of others, what right does someone have to ask for mercy? If God really does forgive such people—will we ever be able to forgive him? Or if God hasn’t done anything wrong— what are we missing? Maybe Jesus […]

For Better or Worse

Better than we think—and worse. As in life itself, in all of us— there is something of the best and the worst. For me, it’s a wake up of a thought—that started in the Garden, and keeps beeping in the background, like an unexplained but familiar-sounding reminder that something about us—and everything— isn’t as good […]

Connecting Epic Dots

In Genesis, the Serpent shows up as an accuser and a deceiver. In the story of Job, Satan shows up as an accuser of both God and Job— allowed to do violence to Job—to deceive Job and friends… In the story of the Cross—Satan is allowed to enter Judas to do violence to the Son […]

Inexpressible

On the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, it looked as if a cheering crowd had found what it was looking for (Matthew 21:4). Years later, the Apostle Paul wrote under the influence of what happened in the week that followed. Because his readers had heard the story, he didn’t take the time […]

Something in Everything

When you know what to look for, you see it everywhere. An exaggeration to make a point? Yes or no, the idea implies its opposite. The author of the 136th Psalm seems captured by the thought. 26 times in 26 verses he says things like— To him who led his people through the wilderness; His love […]

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