Absalom Rebels Against David

Text: 2 Samuel 15:1-18 Reflection and Question: Though David allowed Absalom, his son but also the murderer of Amnon (David’s first born son and heir), to return to Jerusalem, it was two years before Absalom’s prodding led to a meeting with his father. And right after that Absalom plotted to turn the people’s allegiance from […]

An Exuberant Hymn of Praise

Text: Psalm 89:1-18 Reflection and Question: As you see, these verses are not the whole psalm, just the first third of Psalm 89. The middle lines poetically lay out God’s promise of eternal kingship for David and his descendants; verses 38-51 pour out sadness at the destruction of Jerusalem, starkly questioning God’s faithfulness. The answer […]

A Woman From Tekoa Confronts King David

Text: Romans 14:7-12 Reflection and Question: This wise woman does not even merit a name though she has immense courage to take on the job given by David’s right hand man, Joab. Amnon, David’s son, has raped his sister, Tamar. Absalom avenges his sister by killing Amnon and flees in fear of the wrath of […]

Serious Words About Being Church

Text: Mark 9:42-50 Reflection and Question: In this passage, we are instructed to cast away any stumbling blocks that hinder us from faithfully following Jesus’ teachings. We can disagree about what exactly our stumbling as Christians might be, and what may constitute a stumbling block for others in Jesus’ eyes. So perhaps Jesus’ cryptic words […]

Welcome One Another

Text: Romans 15:1-13 Reflection and Question: Of course, Paul was working very hard to help the Christians in Rome to set aside their heritage, whether Jewish or Gentile, in order to sing a new harmony in Christ. Toward the comparable divisions in our day, Paul implores us to “please our neighbor for the good purpose […]

Jesus Teaches Who Is In

Text: Mark 9:30-41 Reflection and Question: Jesus’ disciples are often preoccupied with who is the greatest and Jesus’ answer is always the same. In this passage Jesus embraces a child, ranked with the women and the animals in those times, thus aligning Himself with the lowly. And when the disciples ask Him to stop a […]

Nathan’s Convincing Indictment of David

Text: 2 Samuel 12:1-14 Reflection and Question: Nathan tells a compelling story here of the rich man who took the one little lamb, which was all the poor man had. David sees the sin of the rich man immediately and, in our mind’s eye, we can see his face falling as Nathan brings home the […]

God’s Power Not Magic

Text: Acts 19:11-20 Reflection and Question: I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and was entertained royally by Micah the Magician at The Magic Castle in Hollywood in February. And I know the limits of magic compared to the miracles attested in Scripture to Jesus and the first apostles. Actually, both magic and miracles […]

David Keeps the Covenant with Jonathan

Text: 2 Samuel 9:1-13 Reflection and Question: In the midst of stories about David’s successful military exploits, we learn that David also continues to keep his covenant with Jonathan by seeking out Saul and Jonathan’s relatives. He establishes a household for Mephibosheth and his servants, while always providing a place at the King’s table for […]

Jesus Helps the Blind to See

Text: Mark 8:22-33 Reflection and Question: The parallels between the two parts of this passage are striking. Jesus touches the blind man’s eyes but the blind man reports that he sees people who are like trees walking. Similarly, Jesus asks who the disciples think he is and they first say, “Elijah, John the Baptist or […]