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Counterintuitive Truths: Content in Every Situation

In some ways, Christianity is taking a beating in our post-Christian society. Much of the secular media seems to jump at any opportunity to point out inconsistencies or hypocrisies in Christians. So I think it’s good for us to be reminded that the way of Christ actually is the best way to live, even when it seems counterintuitive. Since God knows our true nature, it shouldn’t surprise us that living according to his plan will be best for us. In…

Counterintuitive Truths: It is More Blessed to Give

We aren’t Christians because it’s an easier life, but because we believe Jesus is the Son of God. Nevertheless, when we follow Christ we pursue a way of life that is consistent with God’s creative purposes for us. In other words, it may not be easier, but it leads to what Jesus calls the “abundant” life. In so many ways it’s counterintuitive, though. Jesus reigns over an upside-down kingdom . . . it subverts the way that comes naturally to…

Sunday Dinner

Meals play a central role in Scripture. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s preparing a table in the presence of our enemies. It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus made meals an important part of his ministry, and of all the gospel writers Luke emphasizes them the…

Come to the Banquet

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

The Best Seat at the Table

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

Conflict at the Dinner Table

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

At Mary and Martha’s House

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

By This All People Will Know

Have you noticed rising levels of fear and anxiety in recent times? The stock market is way down (a bear market?), inflation is way up (an impending recession?), and the price of gas is ridiculous. Political polarization feels worse than in the past, so many people–especially teens and young adults–are struggling with mental and emotional health, the war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, and our culture seems to have lost its mind (one of many examples: gender and…

The Cities We Build

In our text the people decided to build a city and a tower, but that wasn’t the problem. There’s nothing wrong with building, per se . . . the problems come from the reasons we build. The end of chapter 10 tells us that the “nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood,” but then immediately we’re told that the people decided to settle down in one place. It seems they wanted to maintain linguistic, cultural, and ethnic homogeneity…

God’s Bow in the Clouds

What kind of deity is Yahweh? In so many ways, that’s the question of the early chapters of Genesis. Is he angry? Is he harsh? Is he implacable? Does he care about his creation? It comes to a head in the Flood story of Genesis 6-9, and it’s interesting to compare the biblical account to other ancient near Eastern flood narratives. One of the most interesting is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic Mesopotamian poem that predates the…

The Beast That Crouches at the Door

What happens when we try to redefine good and evil on our own . . . when we live our lives “east of Eden”? After observing the Fall of humanity in Genesis 3, we don’t have to wait long to see the effects on the human race. Cain–motivated by anger, jealousy, and fear–murders his brother Abel, and a disheartening trajectory is established. When you read the story carefully, you’ll notice quite a few parallels with the Fall narrative (God’s questioning,…