Educating for Worship

[Originally posted back in 2006, the following is an excerpt from a chapter I wrote for Veritas Press' Omnibus III Textbook. This excerpt was published in VP's "epistula" e-newsletter in September 2006.] For many, Adolph Hitler was the conservative, “family values” politician. Hitler passionately cared about the German family. He argued vehemently for rights of…

The Threat of Daughters

In an article in Semeia Cheryl Exum points out that Pharaoh thinks that only sons are a threat to Egypt. He orders the murder of the Hebrew boys but explicitly allows the “daughters” to live (1:16, 22). Pharaoh does not think that daughters are a threat. He does not think that daughters will cause Israel…

Fifth Sunday in Trinity Season: Exodus II

Opening Prayer: O God, You are good and glorious and wonderful beyond our reckoning. And You are good particularly because You are always before us, ahead of us. You are always at work preparing a way for us. We thank you for this, and we ask it for it now, that your Spirit would prepare…

Baptized into Moses, Baptized into Christ

In 1 Cor. 10:2, Paul says that all of Israel was baptized “into Moses.” Paul explains that it was “in the cloud and in the sea.” At least one way of understanding this is that Israel followed in the steps of Moses. Moses passed through the water and reeds of the Nile and was delivered…

The Invasion of the Spirit

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Trinity Season. Some traditions of the Christian Church count these Sundays as the Sundays after Pentecost and so refer to this as Pentecost Season. But both ways of designating this season are interested in celebrating and remembering the ways in which the life of God is being impressed into…

Fourth Sunday of Trinity: Exodus 1

Opening Prayer: Almighty and gracious God, You are the King of the universe. You speak, and life bursts out of death. You speak and light rushes out of the blackness. And You in your infinite wisdom, have called us here this morning on purpose. We are here in your presence because you desire to speak…

The Table of Reunion

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says that in Christ all things are being reconciled. The Spirit has been poured out as the guarantee of this, the down payment of this reconciliation. Paul says that having the Spirit means that he and the other apostles are ambassadors for Christ pleading with all men to be reconciled…

The Spirit of the New Creation

In our sermon text today, Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new. One of the things this means is that every new life, every new generation of believers is a new act of creation by the Spirit. There…

Preemptive Evil

Speaking of Pharaoh’s wisdom/cunning to reduce the Israelite “threat” Calvin writes: “But this is a wicked kind of cunning, (however it may be varnished over with the specious name of foresight,) unjustly to molest others for our own security. I fear this or that person, because he both has the means of injuring me, and…

When there is no Bathtub at the Beach