Your Two Cents

You have likely heard the phrase, “Here’s my two cents.”   Some dictionaries say the usage began with the cost to send a letter, the “two penny” post.  Others say it comes from poker, where you place a two penny ante to play the round.  Both usages imply, “I’ve paid my price to have an opinion, … Continue reading Your Two Cents

The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)

The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Service is the path to greatness. Welcome children, and people who are the most vulnerable and powerless.  It all makes you wonder what kind of hippie commune Jesus was raised in.  Do you really believe the last should be first, or do you just hope the … Continue reading The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)

Luke 21:5-19 “Not a Stone Left”

This week I was trying to get a feel for what the disciples were thinking and seeing as they walked through the great Temple in Jerusalem.  Through the power of the web I was able to find out a great deal about the size and layout of the Second Temple, which had been renovated by … Continue reading Luke 21:5-19 “Not a Stone Left”

The Wilderness Temptation

February 22, 2015 Mark 1:9-15 Wilderness, in the Bible, is a vast, empty space where life is harsh if not impossible.  We may think of wilderness where Lewis and Clark trekked, across forest, river and mountains of space with little human contact.  But the Sinai is more empty, bleak, with almost no visual changes to … Continue reading The Wilderness Temptation

Isaiah 11:1-10 “The Tree of Jesse”

 (This image is a German painting of the Tree of Jesse from Wurzberg from 1240 to 1250.)   When times get tough, people are inclined to hope in a greater power outside themselves to come and rescue them.  Some people hope that a good relationship with save them, that a knight in shining armor will … Continue reading Isaiah 11:1-10 “The Tree of Jesse”

How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11 | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

I am not a pacifist; I believe that we must pursue justice. Yet a Christian history stained by anti-Semitism—holding an entire people responsible for the actions of a few—teaches us the terrible consequences of not following Jesus' way. We dare not do to Muslims what we have, to our shame, done to Jews. Philip Yancey, … Continue reading How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11 | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Jesus in Three Hymns – Mark 8:28-37

Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  It’s a question of utmost importance, but also elusive.  We are trying to understand an historical person, reading ancient texts, translated from a different language, and sorting through sedimentary layers of previous generation of thought and belief.  I enjoy reading great biographers who seek to encapsulate … Continue reading Jesus in Three Hymns – Mark 8:28-37

Peter’s Rebuke

Mark 8:31-38     I have every sympathy with Peter in this text. He is caught up in a very exciting moment. Jesus just asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter is the first to speak the truth. “You are the messiah, the Christ,” he answers Jesus. Peter senses the long-awaited moment when the … Continue reading Peter’s Rebuke

Even Jesus Struggled with Bias

Mark 7:24-30   I can’t believe this is what Jesus said!  Here is a woman in distress, who needs healing for her daughter, who is apparently demon-possessed.  (Aren’t you in sympathy with her already?)  Jesus helps people like this throughout Mark’s Gospel – Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus, ten lepers, a centurion’s daughter.  He heals a … Continue reading Even Jesus Struggled with Bias

“Overlooked and Under-Considered”

Have you ever had the experience of shaking hands with someone and they were already looking for someone else before they let your hand drop, as if you were obstructing their view?  I remember visiting a church on a vacation and as soon as the pastor found out that we were not prospective new members, … Continue reading “Overlooked and Under-Considered”