Clothed With Love

First Sunday in Christmas 2015: 1 Sam. 2:18-20, 26, Col. 3:12-17, Lk. 2:41-52 Introduction When Jesus was born, He was wrapped in swaddling cloths. These indicate that even though He was God, He was an ordinary baby, and that He was cared for and loved. The lessons today are all about clothing, family, and calling….

Screaming Goat Scandals

One of the important lessons that Christians must learn in the face of sin and failure is honest confession and repentance. This means naming sins biblically. Confession literally means to “agree with God.” This must be done simply, straightforwardly, and cheerfully. At the same time, one of the other lessons that must be remembered is…

The Sabbath King

Luke XXII: Lk. 6:1-11 Introduction Jesus has been acting the part of a priest and calling men to follow Him. He says He’s come to do something new, and here, He explains a little more of what that means. Jesus & David Jesus and his disciples rub a bit of grain together in their hands…

Luke V: When God Shows Up

Luke 1:39-45 Introduction Luke has introduced his gospel with two unexpected birth announcements. Here, those two stories literally meet and the moment is strikingly human and yet, Luke is indicating that something dramatically unique is also happening. As an aside, it is likely that Luke is drawing all of these early accounts directly from Mary…

The Barren Gives Birth

Easter III: Lk. 1:5-7 Introduction We saw last week that Luke wrote this account in order to show how the gospel of Jesus makes sense. This “sense” is not based on pure human reason, but is like the good sense of a great story, full of mystery and tension culminating in deep, surprising joy and…

Discipline that Saves

Men’s Breakfast Study: Proverbs 3:11-12 Introduction In the first speech (Prov. 3:1-10), the father extols the virtues and value of remembering and obeying the law of God given by the parents. Here, however, the father warns the son that this wisdom and obedience does not come automatically, but it comes God’s fatherly correction and instruction….

What Are Men For? (Part 2)

Introduction Last week we grounded true masculinity in the story of the covenant, seen particularly in the first and last Adams. Men are people particularly created and called to take responsibility, to take the lead in serving and guarding the gifts entrusted to them. This is because the glory of men is their strength (Prov….

Laughter, Holy War, and Israel’s True King

Luke describes Zacharias and Elizabeth echoing several OT stories. First, they are obviously an Abraham and Sarah. They walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord “blameless” (1:6, cf. Gen. 17:1). And Elizabeth, like Sarah, is barren. This means John the Baptizer is an Isaac, and perhaps Zacharias’ speechlessness underlines this. Zacharias cannot talk,…

Naomi in Egypt

When Naomi describes her situation as “bitter” (Ruth 1:13, 20) she is like Israel in bondage, a slave in a foreign land (Ex. 1:14). But if the bitter herbs of Passover are meant to recall that bitter service (12:8), then there is a kind of bitterness of heart before the Lord which is the prelude…