Know Yourself. Know Your Idol.

The two latest tragedies that are in front of me are the school shooting in Texas, and the abuse scandal unraveling in another Christian denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. Both are incredibly painful. They should be. They are another example of how humanity has fallen and how determined, it seems, humanity is to stay mired… Continue reading Know Yourself. Know Your Idol.

Movie About a Christian

Read: Luke 9:18–50 One of the reasons I love and appreciate the concept of the “church year” is that we are often confronted by the hard passages, especially those that often make no sense to our post-enlightenment (i.e., science- and data-driven) minds. This is, as you probably inferred, one of those days. Today is Transfiguration… Continue reading Movie About a Christian

Future Tensely

Psalm 126; Isaiah 40:1-11; Romans 8:22-25 Have you realized that Advent is weird? I love Advent, don’t get me wrong. However, the world has done a successful job of retraining us on what Advent is all about. Partially, I think, this is because of the image of an unthreatening baby Jesus with lambs, other baby… Continue reading Future Tensely

Be Our Guest

Psalm 111; Exodus 24:1–11; Romans 15:22–33 If you were invited to a US presidential affair, you might be surprised. Unless you roam such circles or are connected to them, usually you won’t have any expectation of being invited to sit at the table with the president, unless, of course, you decide to contribute to their… Continue reading Be Our Guest

And Now We Worship

Psalm 142; Amos 9:11–15; Luke 7:31–35 As mentioned previously, Amos’ prophetic mission was to the Israelites, the nation of the 10 tribes that separated from Judah and Benjamin. As part of the “rebellion” the leader of the Israelites, Jeroboam, made 2 golden calves for local worship to protect his “kingship” from reverting to Judah and… Continue reading And Now We Worship

Seriously

Psalm 123; Jeremiah 7:16–26; 2 Corinthians 10:7–11 The Christian understanding of God is one of love, forgiveness, and grace. These are often the primary characteristics on which we focus. If we are honest, it’s because, with such a God, a lot of pressure is off of us. There are many, however, who claim these same… Continue reading Seriously

The God of Where

Psalm 123; Jeremiah 7:1–15; 1 Corinthians 4:8–13 The change between Jeremiah and Corinthians cannot be overstated. The clash between law and grace is right there before us. The CEB (the primary translation currently being used to write and to read for this devotional) and NRSV translated Jeremiah 7:7 as, “…only then will I dwell with… Continue reading The God of Where

Prayer Signs

Psalm 65; Exodus 7:14–24; Acts 27:13–38 Do the right thing! Then, do the next right thing! If there is a question of what the right thing is? You’ll just know. Right? Sounds completely rational. You’ll just know. Except it doesn’t always (or even often for many) work that way. Many times awe-inspiring stories are told… Continue reading Prayer Signs

Finer or Better Things

Psalm 92:1–4, 12–15; 2 Kings 14:1–14; Mark 4:1–20 Every generation is in danger of not being as faithful as the one(s) that preceded it. There is, of course, the huge possibility that “this” generation (whichever generation “this” is) will restart a journey of renewed faithfulness. The church in the US—and so-called Christian Culture—is experiencing a… Continue reading Finer or Better Things