The Power of a Single Sigma

The Christmas story portrayed in Luke 2:1 and following is well worth the read (or re-read!). It begins, of course, with the famous decree of Caesar Augustus, prompting Joseph and Mary to make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It proceeds to her giving birth to this most unusual child—Jesus—and wrapping him in swaddling cloths and placing him in a […]

“Walk By the Spirit!”

As the Apostle Paul brings closure to his thoughts regarding love being supreme over and above the fleshly extremes of license and law, he raises a tension regarding how to ensure this love will prevail. Galatians 5:16 and following resolve this tension with profound clarity, and the resolution is the antithesis of self-effort. “Walk by the Spirit,” the apostle pens, […]

Life in the Lowlands

Mountain-top experiences may be exhilarating, but most of life is lived in the lowlands. Certainly that is made clear in the historical accounting of a father and his demonized son, and the various people that are connected with their drama. Read through Mark 9:14 and following for the details: And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great […]

“With You I Am Well Pleased”

When was the last time you really, truly felt loved and appreciated? Like you were special? That someone, anyone, really delighted in . . . well . . . you? The ancient Israelites wrestled with these questions. They felt forgotten. Abandoned. Lost and desperate. Isaiah 63:19 gives a hint of this, at which place their emotions spill forth as they […]

Why Are You in the Boat?

Now [the disciples] had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And [Jesus] cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, […]

The Cost

To be associated with Jesus is costly. There is not a neat and tidy association with him. We see that even among his own family and friends Jesus himself had a hard time (cp. Mark 6:1-6). We see that Jesus, quite aware of the toll following him may take on his disciples, prepares his followers for opposition when he tells […]