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 […]

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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 […]

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Handle With Care

“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 is his sole identification mark, for we are not informed of his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind becomes invisible. Whisperings about the […]

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On Our Side

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all….” (Romans 8:32) We’ve all had them: those days when a bonus was promised, but bills arrived instead; times when leaky roofs, court summons, and solemn physicians showed their unexpected faces; seasons when it appeared everything was against us. Paul the […]

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Highway

“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’” (Acts 3:4) At first glance, the story doesn’t seem thrilling. The man is lame; the disciples show up; the man is healed. No big deal. Jesus did it all the time. On closer inspection, when we read through the Acts […]

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Directions

“And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and they prepared the Passover.” (Matthew 26:19) They often got it wrong. Jesus’ band of followers usually ended up making poor choices, succumbing to sleepiness when he desperately needed companionship, running away like frightened mice when he could have used a little lion-­‐-­‐-­‐hearted friendship. His time […]

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Hands‐On

“How are such mighty works done by his hands?” (Mark 6:2) His calloused hands – accustomed to hammer and nails, splinters of wood and planks of lumber – carted carpentry tools long before they healed a child, touched a leper, or broke bread to nourish a crowd. The carpenter from Nazareth who created the world […]

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Alongside

“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!” (Psalm 20:1) On occasion, even sovereigns slip off crowns and don battle garb; regal wear is not suited for wrestling in wartime. David bows before the Lord and begs help, conscious that his title topples […]

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Backyard Pulpit

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1) The racket emanating from my backyard escalated, forcing me to discover what animals could possibly be creating such uproar. With the rumbling sounds of thunder in the background, I peered through the light rainfall and noticed a creamy-­‐-­‐-­‐ brown duck marching back and […]

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Carrier

“The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes and in the wilderness where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you as a man carries his son, all the way that you went….” (Deuteronomy 1:30-­31) Pictures portray […]

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