Revelation 12:13-17 — The War on the Earth

September 11, 2013

The war in heaven is over. The dragon has been expelled from heaven. The son’s throne is secure; the dragon cannot defeat him. But what’s a dragon to do? If he can’t devour the son, he will go after the mother. The woman, as noted previously, represents the people of God–Israel gives birth to the […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:3-4

February 26, 2013

God tests Jesus in the wilderness and Satan tempts him to satisfy his desires by inappropriate means. One need is hunger. It would seem that satisfying hunger should not be characterized as inappropriate. Food is a created good to be enjoyed. The Slanderer (Diabolos) suggests that Jesus should create his own food. If he really […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 4:2

February 25, 2013

Led by the Spirit Jesus follows Israel into the wilderness for a period of testing and humbling. It is time to prepare for ministry. Confronted by the Diabolos (Devil) Jesus is tested/tempted three times. God tests Jesus, but the Diabolos tempts him. While God tests the Son’s obedience, the Devil preys on Jesus’s desires and needs. The Diabolos […]


Lenten Reflection: Luke 3:21-22

February 21, 2013

In obedience to the Father, Jesus went down into the water to pray. Jesus followed sinners into the water as they repented and confessed their sins. Jesus identified with sinners by sharing this water ritual with them. He underwent a ritual designed for sinners! In response the Father anointed the Messiah with the Holy Spirit, […]


Amos 2:9-16 — Yahweh Makes A Case

February 6, 2013

As the last in the list of nations and the major focus of Amos’s ministry, Israel receives the most attention. In Amos 2:6-8 the prophet identified the reasons why Israel (the northern kingdom) will go into exile. They will suffer for their sins. They abused the innocent and poor, pursued sexual immorality, and approached God […]


Mark 1:12-13 — Jesus in the Wilderness

August 30, 2011

Sink or swim? Sound familiar? Some learned to swim by a parent throwing them into the pool. Perhaps that is not a good idea, but it appears analogous to what God did with Jesus…or maybe not. Rising from the waters of baptism, Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit. The Father affirms him, loves him, […]


Hungering For the Joy: Lenten Reflections on Joshua 5

March 9, 2010

Text: Joshua 5:19-12 [This is part of a small group series for the Woodmont Hills Church in Nashville, TN, which is prepared in conjunction with Dean Barham's homilies that are based on the Lectionary texts for Lent.] A new generation had emerged during the wilderness trek. Their parents had refused to enter to the promise […]


Hungering for God (Lent Reflections)

February 17, 2010

Text: Luke 4:1-13 Lent is forty days of letting go of some of our normal habits in order to pursue God with a special focus. The pursuit of God during these forty days comes in various forms: repentance, meditation, Scripture reading, prayer, immersion in sacred music, communal worship, almsgiving, etc. Lent was originally named “Forty […]


Jesus, the Unlikely Apprentice II

February 3, 2009

Shaped in Solitude Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from [being baptized in] the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days.    Luke 4:1-2a Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went to an isolated place to pray.    Mark […]