Our Jesus Holds the Keys: Good Friday 2014

Note: The audio recording for this message is available here. One of the most unusual elements of the Christian gospel is the fact that we celebrate the death of our leader. For most movements, for most religions, for most kingdoms or empires, the death of the leader is a moment of instability, chaos, disillusionment. But…

We Worship in Heaven

One way to understand why we worship the way we do is that our worship is modeled on heaven. When Isaiah glimpses God high and lifted up, he sees the angels worshiping, singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!” Then when John sees the vision in Revelation, once again he sees the angels and…

Duck Dynasty, Smuggies, and Christmas

I’ve tried manfully not to post anything on the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty shindig. Not because I don’t have my opinions or thoughts but just cause I figured I’d just listen in to all the friendly chatter from the back porch. Besides it’s all snowy and white out here. But some of you drove me to…

Our New Prophet

Exhortation for Morning Prayer Lessons: Amos 7:1-9, Rev. 1:1-8 In the Bible, a prophet is someone who has been invited into the counsels of God. He is a friend of God like Abraham, like Moses, like Amos who has been granted access to God’s deliberations about the story of human history. Amos deliberated with God about…

Drawing the Charge

Exhortation for Morning Prayer Nehemiah 13:4-22, Rev. 12:1-12 Central to the task of walking in the wisdom of Christ is obedience that could be mistaken for being a crank without actually being one. Nehemiah cleaned the Israelite house. He kicked Tobiah out of his digs on the sanctuary grounds, he threw down the gauntlet on…

Fraser & Bobbi

As we’ve just heard, in the NT Lesson from John’s Revelation, the founding of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, is like a wedding. I want to suggest to you today that the converse as actually also true: a wedding is the founding of a city. And every time a Christian woman is given to…

Learning to Hate

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Ps. 101:3) When Jesus wrote the church in Ephesus, He said, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, that you cannot bear those who are evil…” He goes on to…

New Covenant Holy War

Fifth Sunday in Trinity: Ex. 20:1-3: First Word Pt. 2 Introduction When Moses preaches through the Ten Words in Deuteronomy, he spends a great deal of time on the First Commandment, and he says this means war. Holy War The promise to Abraham was to give him the land of Canaan when the iniquity of…

Why Jesus Wrote on the Ground with His Finger

The evangelist John carefully notes that Jesus “wrote with His finger” on the ground a second time.The literary allusions implied by this act are masterfully chosen. First, the law of Moses was written “by the finger of God” (Exod 31:18). The tablets of the law kept in the first temple were actually produced the second…

Sodom=Egypt=Jerusalem

Revelation 11:8 aligns Sodom and Egypt “where also our Lord was crucified” which is of course Jerusalem. Sodom is a type of Egypt which is a type of unbelieving Jerusalem. In Sodom, God’s people were vexed and mistreated, and the messengers of God were persecuted. And ultimately, Sodom was destroyed. In Egypt, God’s people were…