Posted on August 25, 2014
"And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and quite unable to stand up straight." - Luke 13:11
What a camera-worthy scene! Jesus is teaching in a village synagogue and this woman comes into his sightline. Luke writes it as though she has suddenly tumbled from the skies. Almost certainly she was planted there by the Pharisees. As a physically ill woman, osteoporosis, birth injury, we do not know, but she has no right to be among the hale and hearty men in that synagogue.
Posted on August 18, 2014
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel... 'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord in its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.'" - Jeremiah 29:7
This recommendation is found in a letter that the prophet Jeremiah sends across the Fertile Crescent to the former inhabitants of Jerusalem, now in forced exile in Babylon. Can you see their faces as it is read to them on a Sabbath day as they sit on the riverbank praying to their God?
Posted on August 11, 2014
The word of the Lord came to me: "You shall not take a wife nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place... Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament..." - Jeremiah 16:5
Many years ago it was these verses forbidding Jeremiah to share the ordinary social life of his people that first awakened my mind to the living reality of the men and women in the Bible. In effect, Jeremiah is being told to stand apart. When his neighbors will ask "Why?" he will tell them that Babylon is on the march. Unless they change their ways, God can no longer stand with them.
Posted on August 4, 2014
The king commanded... "Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found... - 2 Kings 22:13
What a day this is in Jerusalem. Josiah, newly become king, has undertaken a renewal of the temple building. In a long-forgotten closet an ancient scroll is unearthed, probably part of the book of Leviticus. To the king's horror, he realizes that there are festivals that have gone unobserved by his predecessors, and he doesn't know what he should do.