Showing posts from July, 2013

Reflections on the Text – Luke 10:38-42:

Serving and Sitting? This story of Mary and Martha appears only in the Gospel of Luke, but yet it is one of the most memorable stories in all of the Gospels.   While both Mary and Martha appear in the Gospel of John (along with their brother Lazarus) the John episodes are completely of a different character and intensity (the Raising of Lazarus, Martha’s confession and Mary’s anointing).   In Luke the story appears as a break in the action.   Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, he is teaching along the way in parables.   In chapter 10 immediately before this little episode Jesus has told the story of the Good Samaritan.   Following this episode Jesus will teach the disciples to pray, presenting the Lord’s Prayer and continue with more parables.   Here in these few verses at the end of chapter 10 Jesus, his disciples (and we the readers) get to take a break, enjoy some 1 st century hospitality and have a meal (and remember in Luke Jesus is always eating a meal, and each mea

Reflections on the text – Amos 7:7-17

Read the text here: Amos 7:7-17 Centered & Straight! What is a prophet? There is a broad misconception that a prophet is someone who predicts the future. As we begin to enter into a series of wonderful texts from various prophets it is important for us to recognize that this is NOT what a prophet is.   Predicting the future, like some kind of fortune-teller, is simply not what the ancient Israelite prophets were about.   What is a prophet? A prophet is a truth-teller; prophecy is telling the truth! And the remarkable thing about ancient Israelite prophecy is that the truth-telling of prophets like Amos and Hosea and Micah is still as relevant and difficult to hear for us as it was for these prophet’s original audiences. But there are instances where a prophet’s oracle contained a prediction that came to fulfillment.   Jeremiah is a great example of this, as is Amos who warns that ultimately the North will be destroyed – and the north eventually is de

Reflections on the text – II Kings, 5:1-17

Read the text of the story here: 2 Kings 5:1-17 A Story for Our Time Namaan was a big deal! He was rich.   He was successful. He was important. He had a position.   He was the kind of guy that got what he wanted, when he wanted.   But Naaman was also sick.   He had a serious disease that threatened to take away everything he had in life.   Surely a man as important and as wealthy and as connected as Naaman could use that money and status and connections to do something about this disease. But there was nothing that he seemed to be able to buy or command that made any difference.   It wasn’t until a young Israelite slave-girl proposed a solution: a prophet in Samaria who has the power to heal. Now let’s stop and consider this much of the story.   Here is this important and rich man, well connected and a successful field commander.   He is used to getting what he wants.   He is used to having other important and wealthy people do his bidding.   But here he is in a situatio