An Earnest Confession of Sin

This meditation is based on a passage for February 21, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993). Text: Daniel 9:3-10 Reflection and Question: Daniel is one of the great heroes of the Old Testament, finding a way to sustain his faith while in […]

A Prayer Made for Lent

Text: Psalm 143 Reflection and Question: The psalmist here cries out for deliverance from his or her enemies. We usually think of enemies as adversaries beyond ourselves who gang up against us. But in this penitential season of Lent, the psalm lends itself to consideration of our sin; the enemy now is the one within […]

Jesus’ Prayer for Those Who Believe

Text: John 17:9-19 Reflection and Question: Scholars agree that the gospel of John was written down around 90 AD, when house churches were scattered across the lands of the eastern Mediterranean controlled by the Roman Empire. I try to imagine how this prayer would have stirred those first listeners of this Gospel who are our […]

I Hear and I Tremble Within

Text: Habakkuk 3:1-10 Reflection and Question: This prayer is attributed to Habakkuk, who witnessed Babylon’s triumph over Jerusalem and the forced exile of the Judeans from the Promised Land. In the face of that defeat, the prophet exalts the power of God and pledges to rejoice in God no matter how calamitous or difficult life […]

Treated as Children by God

Text: Hebrews 12:1-14 1 Reflection and Question: What a great passage for meditation on Ash Wednesday, when Christians remember Jesus’ atonement for our sins and begin the penitential season of Lent leading to Holy Week and Easter! It reminds us that Jesus endured the cross and sits at the right hand of God to plead […]

Wisdom of Human Ways

Text: Proverbs 30:1-4, 24-33 Reflection and Question: Proverbs, along with Job, is a book in the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament. This passage reflects the same conviction as Job (particularly chapters 38 to 42) of the vast difference between God and human beings. “Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?” […]

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

Text: John 18:15-18, 25-27 Reflection and Question: Every Gospel writer includes this story of Peter denying Jesus three times on the night He was betrayed (Mt 26:57-75, Mk 14:53-72, Lk 22:54-71). And yet he is the disciple upon whom Jesus will build His church. He is the disciple who promised to follow Jesus no matter […]

The Glorious Spirit Unveiled

Text: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Reflection and Question: The central text for this Sunday in the church year is the story of Jesus being transfigured and the disciples seeing Him in glory (Lk 9:28-36, Mt 17:1-9, Mk 9:2-10). This passage from Paul is a stunning expansion of such glorification to include the ministry of believers inspired […]

Nothing is Unclean in Itself

Text: Romans 14:1-23 Reflection and Question: Paul’s approach to binding the Jewish and Gentile Christians together in one fellowship has a lot to teach us about how the church can bind straight and LGBT faithful together in the church today. For Paul the heart of the matter is faith so he concludes, “For whatever does […]

Freedom, Truth and Believing in Jesus

Text: John 8:33-47 Reflection and Question: Jesus gets testy in this part of the ongoing dialogue between Jesus and “the Jews” in this section of John. They are all Jews talking together about freedom and being children of Abraham. Jesus, as usual, jumps to another level when he speaks of being free from sin. When […]