Showing posts from February, 2013

Reflections on the text – Lent II – Genesis 15:1-11, 17-18

Read the text here: Genesis 15:1-18 Waiting Don’t you hate to wait? Someone promises they will do something, or take you somewhere and you have to wait for it to happen. For most of us waiting is synonymous with impatience.   We don’t want to wait – we want whatever it is right now! Thank you very much! Bear this in mind as you read through chapter 15 of our Old Testament lesson for this morning, for Abraham is a model of impatient waiting.   Back in Chapter 12 God called Abraham and his wife Sarah to uproot themselves and begin a journey to a far off land that God promises to give to him.   So far, so good!   Abraham and Sarah do come into the land and settle.   But it is the other part of the promise that is the problem.   God promises that Abraham and Sarah will be a great nation and that the children of Israel will be their heirs for both the promise and the land.   But there is a problem – Abraham and Sarah are barren, they have not been able to have

The Book of Job

The Book of Job The Book and the Man The adult bible study at Peace has begun a Lenten study of the book of Job.   I have led this study before at St. Matthew’s in Bloomington and during that time I had written a series of blog entries to reflect on this important and beautiful book.   This is the first of those articles edited and republished.   For this study, as for the study in 2009, we are using Carol M. Bechtel’s Kerygma materials entitled “Job and the Life of Faith.” Why do bad things happen to good people?   This is at the heart of the entire book of Job.   This is a question that is asked in culture after culture, from the dawn of time.   We noted that there are pre-Job stories which come from the ancient Sumarians, Babylonians, Egyptians and on and on.   Samuel Balentine notes in his comprehensive commentary: “For as long as men and women have walked this earth, they have shared the journey with someone, somewhere, named Job.” (pg. 5).   Frost no

Ash Wednesday – 2013 – “Facing the Cross”

As a child I think my favorite fairy tale was the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.”   You all remember the story don’t you? Jack lives alone with his mother – this boy is a child and not terribly responsible and trades his families only possession – an old and sad cow for a handful of magic beans.    Jack’s mother is furious and takes the beans and throws them outside in anger, but over night the beans grow over night into a huge stalk that stretches to the heavens.   Jack climbs and there he comes face to face with a giant – actually two giants – a giant couple.   Ultimately Jack overcomes the giants and is able to ultimately provide for his mother.               I don’t want to ruin the story for you, and there are a variety of themes we can pull out of this story – but the one I want to focus on tonight is this:   What happens to Jack when he comes face to face with this giant couple? Being face to face with the giants forces Jack to realize and to finally accept the

Reflections on the text – Luke 2:22-40 - The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord

Read the text here: Luke 2:22-40 One of the most wonderful things about Christmas is the opportunity to sing carols and each year we look forward to hearing and singing our favorite Christmas carols.   It is not too surprising, after all, that the prologue in the Gospel of Luke (chapters 1 & 2 - from where comes the Christmas story) is just one song after another.   Here is a quick review of the songs from the opening two chapters of the Gospel of Luke . 1.      Mary’s song – The Magnificat (My soul magnifies the Lord) – Luke 1:46-55 (pew bibles NT pg. 44) – Sung by Mary after being greeted with celebration by her cousin Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s unborn baby John (the Baptist). 2.      Song of Zechariah – The Benedictus (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel…) – Luke 1:68-79 (pew bibles NT pg. 44) – Sung by the priest Zechariah, John’s father after the miraculous birth of his son, John and after he had been struck mute for his lack of faith. 3.      Song of the Ang