Vanity and Discouragement

For what profit comes to us from the toil and anxiety of heart with which we have labored under the sun?  All our days sorrow and grief are our occupation; even at night our minds are not at rest.  This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 2: 22-23 There is perhaps no more “counter-cultural” text in the[read more]

Harmony and Enjoyment

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?  The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own  The Father who dwells in me is doing his[read more]

Becoming the Last of All

The disciples have just been arguing among themselves about who is the greatest. As Mark relates the narrative this occurs just after Jesus has told them that he must be handed over to his enemies, suffer, die, and in three days be raised up. We are told that the disciples do not understand what Jesus is saying, and yet they do not dare to question him about it. If we think about it, this is really not so difficult to understand. The absence of questioning suggests that there is a certain willfulness in the disciples’ not understanding. They do not[read more]

Serving Worthily

“I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others  have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Luke 21: 3-4 The older I get the more central to the gospel teaching the story of the poor widow[read more]

Living Spaciously

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one[read more]

Why Are You Here?

After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.  When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.  A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” 1 Kings 19: 12-13 It is a beautiful morning here in greater Baltimore. As I awoke,[read more]

Working In Harmony

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called NIger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I[read more]