The First Advent (Exodus 40:34-38)

June 19, 2015

Mount Sinai must have been an impressive, even startling, sight. Enveloped in darkness with flashes of lightning, Israel heard the thunder and even, on one occasion, the voice of God. They felt the rumblings of God’s presence in tremors that rippled through the earth’s crust. This was Yahweh’s holy mountain. Yahweh descended upon it, and […]


Psalm 2 – God Reigns Over the Nations

August 14, 2013

Psalm 1 counseled wisdom. Worshippers, as they pray, mediate and sing the Psalms, align themselves with the way of righteousness. Psalm 2 assures these worshippers that Yahweh reigns and even the nations must ultimately submit to the God of Israel. Psalm 2, then, as a further introduction to the Psalter, grounds the worship of and […]


Reading Zechariah 9-14 – What? Where? When?

May 24, 2012

My Wednesday evening class–about 25 of us on average–have walked through Zechariah together. We began in January and finished Zechariah 14 last week (May 16). They are a patient bunch! It has been an exciting ride. The good news present in Zechariah is tailored for a disappointed people. Their hopes, dreams and expectations had not […]


Zechariah 14:1-15 – That Day is a New Day

May 15, 2012

The “behold” of Zechariah 14:1 (untranslated by the NIV) begins the second section of Zechariah’s second “oracle” (Zechariah 12-14). The first Section (Zechariah 12-13) was structured around the “day of the Lord” when God will renew covenant with Israel, defend Jerusalem, pour out the divine Spirit of grace, and cleanse the house of David from […]


Zechariah 11:1-17 – Tale of Two Shepherds

April 11, 2012

The idyllic description of a restored (enlarged borders) and united (Judah and Ephraim reunited) Israel in Zechariah 10:4-12 under a peacemaking king (9:9-10) is shattered by an opening lament in Zechariah 11:1-3. The shepherds of Israel lament the destruction of the land of Lebanon and Bashan (or Gilead). While some think the lament envisions the […]


Zechariah 4:1-14 — Two Olive Trees and the Oil of God

February 9, 2012

Awakened from lethargy or deep reflection by the angel who had previously spoken to him (Zechariah 2:3) as if he had been woken from a sleep, the angel directs Zechariah’s attention to a new vision. “What do you see?” asked the angel. This is Zechariah’s fifth vision. Paired with the fourth vision, these two are the […]


Mark 8:27-9:1 — Confession, Cross and Crown

February 6, 2012

This text is the hinge on which Mark’s Gospel swings. Previous to this text Mark narrates the kingdom ministry of Jesus as Jesus heralds its coming and enacts its reality through healing, compassion and feedings. Subsequent to this text Mark narrates the passion of Jesus and the events that lead up to his death. In the first half of […]


Handel’s Messiah: A Missional Reading Part IV

December 23, 2011

Part III, the shortest, is humanity’s response to God’s redemptive act and is focused on the hope of resurrection which leads to a final praise of the Lamb. Handel ends his Messiah with the praise of the reigning King, a slain Lamb. Handel weaves together texts from Job, 1 Corinthians and Revelation. He uses the […]


Handel’s Messiah: A Missional Reading III (What is the Hallelujah Chorus about?)

December 22, 2011

Part II begins with the passion of Jesus through his resurrection to his exaltation as reigning Lord. At the end of this section is a missional proclamation:  Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Handel weaves together texts from John, Isaiah, Psalms, Lamentations, Romans and Revelation to tell this story. He uses the […]


Handel’s Messiah: A Missional Reading II

December 21, 2011

Part I moves us from the prophetic anticipation of the coming kingdom through the appearance of the Christ child to a conclusion in the ministry of Jesus.  At the heart of this movement is a missional vision–God comes to give rest to the nations. Handel weaves together texts from Isaiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Luke and […]