Those who see the sun

Readings: Ecclesiastes 7:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Ecclesiastes is medicine for the wounded and their helpers and especially those with visions of empire. Grand designs! High hopes! Victorious visions! We set out to overturn oppressors, rescue castaways, sort out all the systems, win the world! Ecclesiastes speaks back. “Vanity of vanities,” its writer declares. “All isContinue reading “Those who see the sun”

The Only Good Samaritan

Readings: Isaiah 53:1-12; Luke 10:25-37 An expert in Mosaic law tries to test Jesus, wanting to justify himself. He knows the law and articulates it in perfect orthodoxy, yet cannot grasp that deeper Truth which only the Spirit can inscribe on any human heart. Speaking in parable, Jesus’s multi-layered answer turns this lawyer’s question onContinue reading “The Only Good Samaritan”

The kingdom of God has come near to you

Key Readings: Exodus 3:1-9; Luke 10:1-16 The phrase ‘come near’ in verses 9 and 11 of Luke 10 is common across the Biblical text. One well-known early instance is in Exodus 3, when God calls to Moses from the burning bush, warning, “Do not come near here.” Moses must remove his sandals, discarding the dustContinue reading “The kingdom of God has come near to you”

A Stone’s Throw Away

The Bible’s rocks and stones have come up in my previous studies here and there, but there’s still more mystery on which to meditate. A while back, I considered the interplay between iron and rock. Ironwork was considered the work and weapon of the enemies of God (Ex. 20:25, Jdgs 1:19, 1 Kgs 6:7, 2 SamContinue reading “A Stone’s Throw Away”

The Girl is Asleep: Salvation in Luke 8

Until this morning, in my reading of Luke 8:40-56 I’d focused on Jesus’s two miracles in isolation. I’ve written already, for example, about the symbolic meaning of the colours in Jesus’s healing of the woman with the flow of blood. And in the story of Jairus’s daughter, I have previously reflected on striking parallels betweenContinue reading “The Girl is Asleep: Salvation in Luke 8”

I will be found by you.

One way we might sum up the Bible’s story is this: finding what is lost. Lost paradise, lost coin, lost sheep, lost rest, lost joy, lost hope. Having left God’s first garden, enslaved to sin and death, God’s people were scattered among the nations, from one end of the earth to the other. In exile,Continue reading “I will be found by you.”

Leaving everything behind

There is a lovely tension to explore in Luke 5:27-29, as Jesus meets the tax collector whose name was Levi. After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him. Earlier in the sameContinue reading “Leaving everything behind”

His Hands Oustretched

One story I frequently return to when times are tough is the defeat of the Amalekites in Exodus 17. Amalek comes to challenge Israel, and as Joshua fights them with the men of Israel, Moses stands above, on the hill of Rephidim. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed,Continue reading “His Hands Oustretched”

God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes

One of the delights of the Bible is the abundance of its irony. I’ve talked about this before, when considering the principle of proportion, where God positions various contrasting elements within the redemptive story next to one another, highlighting His own attributes and through them, the subversive power of the Gospel. And among the Bible’sContinue reading “God’s Weaker Vessel, the Woman with Tender Eyes”