The Messiah is Immersed with Israel

August 22, 2019

God sent John the Baptizer to prepare Israel to receive their Messiah. John called Israel to repent and invited them into the water of repentance. They came to the water confessing their sins, penitent, and submitting to a baptism for the forgiveness of sins.   Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, was also baptized by John. This is […]

Why Did God Become Human?

August 19, 2019

One of the most foundational and wondrous confessions of the Christian Faith is: in birth of Jesus, God became a human being. The birth of Jesus is the incarnation of God.  God became flesh through the womb of Mary. This lies at the heart of Christianity, and it is the story of God’s humility and […]

God Becomes a Human Being

August 15, 2019

When God decided to come to the temple and renew covenant with Israel, God decided to come as a human being rather than as a burning bush or an angel. God decided to come in the flesh rather than as a temporary theophany like God’s appearance to Israel in the fire and the cloud. God […]

God Sends the Son and the Spirit

August 12, 2019

As Malachi prophesied and John the Baptizer proclaimed, the Lord is coming. The God who created the world and chose Israel from among the nations is about to come to the temple in order to cleanse it and renew covenant with Israel. But what does it mean to say that God is coming to the […]

The Prophets Envision a New Day

August 9, 2019

The last prophet in the Hebrew Bible is Malachi, whose name means “my messenger.” God sent Malachi to a small community of Jews who lived under Persian rule in the area around Jerusalem. Though Judah had returned from Babylonian exile, they had not experienced a national restoration, and it appeared the promises of God had […]

The Prophets Call for Justice

August 5, 2019

The earlier prophets, Zechariah announces to post-exilic Judah, delivered the word of the Lord to their ancestors. The Spirit of God sent messages to them but they did not listen. Yahweh sent word after word to various prophets in the pre-exilic era but they did not listen. The prophet describes them with three metaphors: • They […]

Prophets: Amos Witnesses to Justice and Hope

August 1, 2019

How might a migrant worker convict luxurious homeowners about their oppressive lifestyles? What might a poor, rural believer say to wealthy, urban idolaters? Amos was neither trained as a prophet nor assumed the career of a prophet. He was a shepherd in the Judean wilderness near Bethlehem from the backwater village of Tekoa. He supplemented […]

Living in Chaos

July 29, 2019

Living within God’s creation is both frustrating and delightful. Qoheleth, the wise teacher in Ecclesiastes, offers an extended reflection on this conundrum. Life is absurd. The Hebrew word hebel describes this frustration, and Qoheleth uses it thirty-seven times. Literally, it means “vapor”—like a breath in the cold air. Metaphorically, it means “futility.” As such it […]

Wisdom and Folly

July 25, 2019

Wisdom and Folly are personified as women in Proverbs 9. The wise sage of Proverbs portrays Lady Wisdom and Dame Folly as hostesses who invite those who pass by into their home. The wise teacher encourages the simple, those who are inexperienced and do not have enough life experience under their belt to make choices, […]

The Hymns and Prayers of Israel

July 23, 2019

We humans live in space and time, and we create space and time for what is important to us. The God of Abraham did this for Israel through the introduction of times of worship in holy spaces. Through weekly, monthly, and annual festivals, God provided Israel with a rhythm of worship and prayer that included […]