Hovering

“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (Ephesians 4:18) They scrutinized Jesus like a hawk peering at its prey, intent on swooping in swiftly and gobbling him alive. It was the Sabbath, and a man with […]

Continue reading

Whole Way

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” (Mark 1:41) The ghastly label of leper was his sole identification, for we are not privy to his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind would not presume to scale the […]

Continue reading

Boulder

“And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’” (Mark 16:3) The spices weighed heavily in their arms; one thought was heaviest on their minds. The women had the strongest desire to anoint the body of their Lord, but they were far too […]

Continue reading

Track Record

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19-­20a) We trip awkwardly, sprawling our secret sins in full view of cynical eyes. Later, we cringe, fearful of lifting our heads lest anyone condemn us further for our regretful […]

Continue reading

Over the Top

“You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) An impossible command dangles off the end of Matthew 5 like a daunting challenge. Jesus calls us to the highest of standards, requiring us to be as perfect as our Father in Heaven. What an outrageous claim to make to frail humanity. […]

Continue reading

Pivotal

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) The disciples could have scattered in a dozen directions after Christ ascended to heaven. Yet, as an act of obedience, they listened to Jesus’ final instructions to return to Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49b). Huddled […]

Continue reading

By The Seashore

“He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: ‘Listen.’” (Mark 4:2) The situation could easily have turned ugly. As the crowds surged toward him, they threatened to crush Christ with their aggressive behavior. The wind whipped waves and slapped them along the shoreline; he calmly maneuvered into the safety of the […]

Continue reading

Waiting in Line

“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) Compassion is not a flimsy garment slung across the Savior’s shoulders; this attribute is woven through the perfect fabric of his being. When unwelcomed crowds surged forward, disrupting his vacation […]

Continue reading

Miss the Mark

“In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7) He mingled easily with the mongrels of his day and the women who sold their bodies after selling their souls. Perfectly at ease in their presence, willing to share a meal or a deep slice of converation, Christ drew them […]

Continue reading

Obscure Scenes

“Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you.” (Genesis 43:23) Scattered across the Epistles the phrase “grace and mercy” appear as inseparable vines twisted around the solid trunk of Scripture. These concepts did not first sprout from the blood-­soaked earth […]

Continue reading