Majesty for the Unworthy

The sky is dark.  The land is silent.  For the shepherds it is like any other night.  They watch their flocks as they always do, expecting nothing out of the ordinary.  But tonight is not an ordinary night.  No, something cosmic is underfoot.  God himself in human flesh; the Son of God become son ofContinue reading “Majesty for the Unworthy”

Take Your Place

If you compare different translations of Ephesians 4:11-13, you’ll find an interesting disagreement.  The passage speaks of Christ giving apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers to the church.  This is a point of unity among translations.  Disunity, however, comes in the reason for this gift.  The King James Version reads: “For the perfecting ofContinue reading “Take Your Place”

Discerning Opportunities

Early in the Gospel of Mark, we find Jesus faced with an interesting dilemma.  His ministry has been met with acclaim in a town called Capernaum.  The people there have been awed by his teaching, and he has performed many healings and exorcisms.  In the early morning after a full evening of ministry, we areContinue reading “Discerning Opportunities”

Goin’ to the Chapel

When I lived in Durham, NC, I adopted the habit of making a weekly trip to Duke Chapel.  If you’ve been there, you know that it is an awesome structure.  A massive, cross-shaped room rises dizzyingly into the air, walls of grey interrupted by the bright colors of stained glass.  As you enter, you can’tContinue reading “Goin’ to the Chapel”

An Easter Meditation

The daytime sky is dark.  It has been for the past three hours.  The untimely darkness covers much, but it can’t hide the sounds of pain.  In the shadows stand three crosses, each bearing a contorted body that was once strong and fit.  Two are rebels.  One is the King of Glory.  All three willContinue reading “An Easter Meditation”

Journey With Jesus: Good Friday and Easter

Join us at Immanuel Baptist Church for public readings of our last two Journey With Jesus passages.  On Good Friday, April 6, at 6pm, we will contemplate the crucifixion together.  On Easter Sunday, April 8, at 11am we will celebrate the resurrection!  Saturday stands as a day for reflection.  We hope to see you atContinue reading “Journey With Jesus: Good Friday and Easter”

Journey With Jesus, Day 12: Devotion

Mark 14:1-11 In today’s reading, we have a story of extravagant devotion surrounded by stories of treachery.  The scheming of the chief priests and elders is teamed with the betrayal of Judas, and against this background, the story of the woman who anoints Jesus’ head with perfume shines all the more brightly.  Commentators point toContinue reading “Journey With Jesus, Day 12: Devotion”

Journey With Jesus, Day 11: Watch!

Mark 13:1-37 Today we face a difficult passage with many points ripe for conversation.  The passage can be divided into two sections.  First, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple (13:1-23).  Second, he predicts his own second coming (13:24-37).  In a future Wednesday night Bible study (we are currently walking passage by passage through theContinue reading “Journey With Jesus, Day 11: Watch!”

Journey With Jesus, Day 10: Not Far From the Kingdom

Mark 12:13-44 In today’s reading, we once again see various groups seeking to trap Jesus in questions.  The Pharisees and Herodians ask about taxes.  The Saducees ask about marriage in the resurrection, a question that is so complex that it reminds me of math classes in high school.  I can almost see the Saducees movingContinue reading “Journey With Jesus, Day 10: Not Far From the Kingdom”