David Becomes a Rival to Saul

Text: 1 Samuel 18:5-16 Reflection and Question:As a warrior in Saul’s army and as a musician whose playing gives Saul comfort, David’s very success in serving the king feeds Saul’s fear and anger. Saul watches his lieutenant rise in popularity and power while David is simply following Saul’s own orders. Both men are very aware […]

David and Jonathan Meet

Text: 1 Samuel 17:50-18:4 Reflection and Question: Perhaps the one thing you know about David is his slaying of the Philistine giant, Goliath. Saul is impressed, but Saul’s son, Jonathan, is utterly smitten with David. Scripture repeats that Jonathan loved David “as his own soul” and the two men made a covenant together. Our sense […]

David Meets Saul and Goes out to Defeat Goliath

Text: 1 Samuel 17:31-49 Reflection and Question: This is among the earliest Bible stories that were told to me in Sunday School and one of the longest remembered. Perhaps this story was highlighted because it is about David who is really a child and how he defeats the larger-than-life giant, Goliath. David has become a […]

The Holy Spirit Falls Upon Cornelius and his Household

Text: Acts 10:34-48 Reflection and Question: Having been invited by Cornelius to speak, Peter lays out for all in that household the basic outline of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Before Peter finishes, the Holy Spirit falls upon those listening in the same way it fell upon the apostles on Pentecost. Questions of […]

Peter Enters the Home of Cornelius, the Gentile

Text: Acts 10:17-33 Reflection and Question: The Jewish purity laws forbid Peter to eat certain animals and also prohibit any contact with certain people, including Gentiles like Cornelius who has sent for Peter to come to his house. Cornelius has been described as a devout and upright man. His greeting to Peter is humble and […]

Peter’s Dream of God Calling the Unclean Clean

Text: Acts 10:1-16 Reflection and Question: By all accounts, Peter was a devout Jew who abided by the purity laws of Leviticus. He is telling the truth in this dream when he protests that he has never eaten any animal deemed unclean (a synonym for “unclean” in Leviticus is “abominable”). Three times this happened in […]

The First to Tell the Good News of Resurrection

Text: Luke 23:56-24:12 Reflection and Question: The women who rose early to care for Jesus’ body after the crucifixion were those who had followed Him from the beginning in Galilee. All but Peter dismissed their astonishing report that the tomb was empty and that they had seen dazzling strangers who spoke of resurrection. Since then […]

The Sad Dismissal of Saul as King

Text: 1 Samuel 15:24-35 Reflection and Question: We have pondered upon a few of the passages that tell of Saul’s turbulent reign as the first king of Israel. At this moment God had told Saul to destroy the Amalekites, yet Saul spared the king of the enemy and some sheep and cattle for sacrifice. Though […]

Good News and Bad News at the Wedding Feast

Text: Matthew 22:1-14 Reflection and Question: The good news is that the king who represents God wants everyone to come to the wedding banquet, which represents the realm of God. The bad news is that some of us give priority to other things, like the first guests who were invited but went about their business […]

Saul Can’t Seem to Get It Right

Text: 1 Samuel 14:16-30 Reflection and Question: Jonathan and his armor bearer were already winning the fight in the Philistine camp when Saul, his father, finally brought his soldiers into the battle. Then, in an action that only served to weaken his army, Saul promised God that no Israelite would eat before the fight ended. […]