God is Not Slow

Text: 2 Peter 3:1-10 Reflection and Question: The Gospels are clear that Jesus promised to come again soon after His death and resurrection. At the same time, the New Testament letters are clear that time will pass and believers will die, raising the question of when Jesus will return in glory or when the end […]

If Disaster Falls on a City, Has Not God Been At Work?

Text: Amos 3:1-11 Reflection and Question: In a time of prosperity founded upon corruption and injustice, Amos prophesied to Israel their downfall and defeat. Amos predicted this fate with a confidence in the inevitable that he expressed in a series of rhetorical questions, whose answers were assumed to be self-evident. God’s judgment drips from Amos’ […]

Everything That Makes for Life

Text: 2 Peter 1:1-11 Reflection and Question: This sermon ascribed to Peter begins with a strong statement clarifying how we “come to share in the very being of God.” First there are gifts from God: virtue, knowledge, self-control, fortitude, piety, kindness and love. But then the believer needs to embrace these qualities and behave according […]

Jesus Comments on the End Times

Text: Luke 21:5-19 Reflection and Question: Jesus speaks the truth when he says “the end will not follow immediately.” Indeed, the signs He speaks of are still with us: wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famines and plagues. What is not particularly common for us is the experience of persecution of the church, which he describes vividly and […]

God Delights in Love That Will Not Change

Text: Micah 7:11-20 Reflection and Question: Micah, like other prophetic books, ends with hope. The images expressing this are vivid and rich in meaning. For example, the prophet comments, “Thou delightest in love that will not change.” (New English Bible, Micah 7:18) God’s delight can be taken in two ways. It can mean that God […]

To Be Alive with the Life of God

Text: 1 Peter 3:13-4:6 Reflection and Question: The way the preacher speaks here gives some clues to the lives of his listeners. They once lived in debauchery and idolatrous worship, but came to believe that Christ died for their sins once and for all. Their patterns changed drastically as they began to worship God in […]

To God Will I Bring a Thank-Offering

Text: Psalm 116 Reflection and Question: This poem of gratitude is just right for our reflection on Thanksgiving. In my family it is our tradition today to putter around the kitchen fixing Thanksgiving dinner, talking, catching up with those home from far places. When all is ready we sit down at the kitchen table and […]

You Shall Be Treated as You Have Treated Others

Text: Obadiah 15-21 Reflection and Question: Gods speaks through Obadiah to all the nations, but also directly to Israel, confirming with startling images that God is in charge of the rise and fall of all peoples. There is no mistaking the ethical principle set forth by God here: “You shall be treated as you have […]

What Must I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?

Text: Matthew 19:13-22 Reflection and Question: This exchange between Jesus and a rich man is recounted in Mark and Luke as well. According to the story, the man is righteous, indeed, obeying the commandments Jesus highlights from the Ten Commandments as well as the law to love your neighbor as yourself. But the man leaves […]

Trusting in Christ Without Seeing

Text: 1 Peter 1:1-12 Reflection and Question: It is pretty clear that the followers of Jesus expected to see Jesus again in their own lifetime. Of course the time came when believers had to work out a different understanding of Jesus’ return. This greeting to Gentile Christians outside Palestine reflects a moment where both are […]