A locked room, rational thinking, and hope without evidence

Acts 4.32-37: The early church shares all things and there are no needy among them. 1 John 1.1-2.2: John writes to his community that God is light, in whom there is no darkness at all. John 20.19-31: Jesus appears to Thomas who realises that he doesn’t actually need evidence of the resurrection. Jesus appears to the disciples … More A locked room, rational thinking, and hope without evidence

A garden, being called by name, and a story with no end

Acts 10.34-43: Peter tells the crowd about how Jesus was killed by being hanged on a cross, raised by God on the third day, and that all people receive welcome through Jesus’ name.1 Corinthians 15.1-11: Paul reminds the Corinthians that they have taken their stand for the gospel, and that Paul himself was a persecutor … More A garden, being called by name, and a story with no end

Palm Sunday, words of lament, and the knowledge that this is not the end

Isaiah 50.4-9a: Facing shame and abuse, but it is the Lord who helps and will vindicate.Philippians 2.5-11: Jesus, being in the form of God, humbled himself even to death on a cross, but God will exalt him above all other names. The Passion of Jesus Christ according to Matthew.  My God, my God, why have you … More Palm Sunday, words of lament, and the knowledge that this is not the end

Out-of-context Greeks, the nature of God, and the vulnerability of love

Jeremiah 31.31-34: God makes a new covenant with the people of Israel. Hebrews 5.5-15: Jesus is described to the Hebrews as being like a High Priest, the source of life for all who believe. John 12.20-33: Some Greeks want to speak to Jesus, who responds to this news by predicting his own death.  The obvious question1 in this … More Out-of-context Greeks, the nature of God, and the vulnerability of love

Snakes, a reading we all know, and how God really loves the world

Numbers 21.4-9: The wandering Israelites are subjected to venomous snakes, assume God sent them, and ask Moses to intervene; God tells Moses to raise a bronze snake for the people to look at so that they are healed. Ephesians 2.1-10: Paul tells the Ephesians that they are saved through grace alone and not by their works … More Snakes, a reading we all know, and how God really loves the world

Survival, vulnerability, and playing by the rules

Exodus 20.1-16: God gives the Ten Commandments1. 1 Corinthians 1.18-25: The wisdom of the world is contrasted with that of God. John 2.13-22: Jesus completely loses his cool and basically ransacks the temple.  Imagine the news article: Respected teacher Jesus of Nazareth this week caused outrage at the temple, driving customers out with a whip. Witnesses were … More Survival, vulnerability, and playing by the rules

Identity, promises, and being a people of hope

Genesis 17.1-7, 15-16: God promises ninety-nine-year-old Abram that he will be the father of multitudes, and gives him an extra syllable in his name.Romans 4.13-25: Paul reflects on the unearned and un-commodified nature of God’s promises. Mark 8.31-38: Jesus has a go at Peter for protesting as he predicts his own suffering and death.  Abram and … More Identity, promises, and being a people of hope

Wilderness, floodwaters, and who we really are

Genesis 9.8-17: God makes a covenant with Noah and all living things after the great flood. 1 Peter 3.18-22: On the waters of baptism as a metaphorical, rather than literal, cleansing. Mark 1.9-15: Jesus is baptised, named by God as God’s son, and then is driven into the wilderness.  And so the water recedes, Noah and his … More Wilderness, floodwaters, and who we really are

Mountaintops, leaving them, and a pretty bad pun*

2 Kings 2.1-12: Elisha has to say goodbye to Elijah, and mourns. 2 Corinthians 4.3-12: Paul reminds the Corinthians of their strength, that they are not overcome by all they are going through. Mark 9.2-9: Peter, James and John witness Jesus transfigured on the mountaintop.  It seems so early in the year to reach the high point … More Mountaintops, leaving them, and a pretty bad pun*

Comfort, seeking God, and the nature of grasshoppers

Isaiah 40.21-31: The prophet thinks about God’s magnitude and compares humanity to grasshoppers.1 Corinthians 9.16-23: Paul talks about how he spreads the Gospel, become as a Gentile when talking to the Gentiles, as a Jew when talking to the Jews…Mark 1.29-39: Jesus heals people, takes a break, and then goes out into the villages to … More Comfort, seeking God, and the nature of grasshoppers