Wizard Oil, Quack Medicine, and other American Cults

How many of the current fads are not much different than Aunt Polly’s in Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? You know if you’re in danger of becoming Aunt Polly if the words “organic,” “eco-friendly,” “100% natural,” and “free range” make you go weak in the knees. Does your expression become serious, do…

Comfort for You

This meal is God’s weekly assurance and promise to you that He is your God. We say week after week that this is the new covenant in the blood of Christ for the remission of sins, but we need to be reminded frequently that this means God is your God. God is for you. He…

Follow Jesus

Jesus says that if we want to be His disciples we must leave everything behind and follow Him. He says we must take up our cross and follow Him. He says we must leave father and mother, sister and brother and follow Him. He says we must sell our possessions, give alms to the poor…

Eighth Sunday in Trinity: Job 42

IntroductionWe finish our series in Job this morning considering the conclusion to the book. We know what happens, but it’s important to see how ‘what happens’ actually fits the narrative. Job is ComfortedJob’s answer to Yahweh should first of all be recognized as an answer – meaning that Job is having a conversation with the…

Job and Rene Girard

Some tentative thoughts on Job: Rene Girard has pointed out that there is no mention of the calamities that befall Job in any of the dialogues. In all of the conversations between Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, no mention is made of the great events of chapters 1-2. I might suggest that there are a…

The Economy of the Eucharist

Throughout Job there is something of an underlying debate over the nature of relationships. Are human or divine-human relationships founded on a principle of reciprocity or are they founded upon grace? Reciprocity means that relationships, however friendly, are fundamentally based on exchange, quid pro quo, commodities. I do this for you, and you do that…

From Glory to Glory

One way of looking at the book of Job is as a coming of age story. We have pointed out before that in the Bible, the categories of Priest, King, and Prophet can be seen not only as different roles but as steps in glory and maturity. We see this in Israel’s history: priests keep…

Seventh Sunday in Trinity: Job 38-41

Opening Prayer: Gracious Father, we thank you that you have sent your Son into the world for our salvation. We thank you that He has been raised to Your right hand and has poured out His Spirit upon us so that we might be faithful sons in Him. We ask that You would empower Your…

The Strangers are Family

Ezekiel says that in the New Covenant the land and inheritance will be divided by the twelve tribes of Israel, and that strangers will also be included in the inheritance: “‘It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who…

Embrace the Mess

I wanted to say a few words directed at the growing opportunities many of us have with people in our churches with little to no church background. A couple years ago, I remember thinking at one point that we must be doing something wrong because of how messy everything was: custody battles, drunkenness, drugs, uncontrollable…