Song of Advent #4 – Simeon’s Song

Read Luke 2:25-35 When I was young, our family had some friends that I really enjoyed being with. They had a puppet ministry and drove a VW van that was colorfully painted with the pictures of the puppets. Whenever they were coming for a visit I would keep one eye out on the road to…

“No Vacancy” or “Rooms Available”?

Song of Advent #3 – John’s Song Read Luke 3:1-6 While these words describing John’s ministry were not spoken at the birth of Christ, they do encompass the advent message of preparing oneself for an arrival. In this case the arrival was the beginning of his public ministry, a ministry of which John acts as…

Backstory

When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll.  Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”  This classic hymn became even more meaningful to me when I read that Horatio Spafford wrote it while sailing over the spot where…

Songs of the Season – Mary

As we approach Christmas and the celebration of God’s coming to earth in human form, I would like to look at a few of the “songs” that the Bible records as being sung by different players in this story.  They may not have been songs in the sense of being set to music but they…

What smells in here?

Philippians 4:15-23 Paul closes this letter by walking a fine line between being grateful for their gift while not wanting to imply that he is looking for them to meet his needs. Unlike other teachers of his day, Paul wanted to encourage sacrificial giving but not giving to him. He scrupulously avoided apparent conflicts of…

Context is key

“Eddie Murphy is a comic genius” was a promotional blurb that was lifted verbatim from a movie review a few years ago. Sounds like this critic was sold, right? Not so fast. If you read the entire article, you would find that the reviewer actually commented that since he thought Murphy was a comic genius,…

From theory to practice

The Bible is full of both godly wisdom and lofty callings. The rub happens when we move “Love thy neighbor as thyself” from the realm of noble sentiment to the harsh reality of living next door to a rude person. Paul echoes the language he uses as a general principle in Chapter 2, verse 2…

Forgetting that last shot

I play golf (though not very well, I confess). I find that a decent round can be sabotaged by one bad shot because its effect plagues me for the next few holes. It is a sports cliche to forget about the past mistake or triumph and give one’s entire attention to the task at hand….

Gain and Loss

Yard sales in our area are very popular. People begin searching very early on summer Saturday mornings for huge bargains. That exercise bike that cost hundreds of dollars a few years ago can now be had for fifty bucks. Why the drop? The person who purchased it with lofty ambitions ran headlong into reality and…

The Word became Flesh – Philippians 2:5-11

These seven verses comprise among the most important, and most debated, passages of Scripture in the entire Bible. This section offers us a heavenly perspective on the incarnation of Jesus, his death on the cross, and the exaltation that followed. It speaks of how Jesus laid down some of his divine rights while he was…