Saul Becomes Paul

Text: Acts: 9:1-19 Reflection and Question: God calls upon Ananias to welcome Saul into the followers of Jesus. And Ananias was right to be cautious because Saul deserved the reputation he had for persecuting Christians. But Ananias’ faith overcame his fears when the Lord assured him that Saul was to become Paul, a zealous preacher […]

The Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch

Text: Acts 8:26-40 Reflection and Question: In the second edition of his book, “Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality,” Jack Rogers explores the use of the word “eunuch” in the ancient world to refer to sexual minorities. In this passage, the apostle Philip is sent by an angel to greet the Ethiopian eunuch who listens to […]

Jesus, the Hot Potato Between Pilate and Herod

Text: Luke 23:1-12 Reflection and Question: Pilate, the Roman Emperor’s agent in Jerusalem, sent Jesus over to Herod, the puppet ruler, whose territory included Galilee, Jesus’ home. Neither wanted to make a decision about Jesus so they passed Him between them. Luke comments that this interaction over Jesus turned their animosity into friendship. Even as […]

What God Cares About Most in the World

Text: Psalm 146 Reflection and Question: There is excellent reason to praise the Creator of all, who chooses to focus on justice for the oppressed, food for the hungry, setting prisoners free, opening the eyes of the blind, and on strangers, orphans and widows. God could attend to an infinite number of other things but […]

Saul’s Response to Being Chosen King

Text: 1 Samuel 10:17-27 Reflection and Question: Saul did not seem eager to become king of Israel. When his name was called he was hiding among the baggage. When the ceremony ended, Saul simply went home and held his peace, probably wondering why some warriors followed along behind. Saul just never was able to get […]

The Example of Abraham’s Faith

Text: Romans 4:13-25 Reflection and Question: Paul looks to Abraham as the great exemplar of faith for the Roman Christians to follow. Abraham was not circumcised when God called him, nor was he abiding by the laws of Leviticus. Like Abraham, we can grow strong in our faith as we give glory to God because […]

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Text: Psalm 111 Reflection and Question: We do not value fear much these days. It is on the less desirable end of the spectrum of feelings. Yet fear has its place to warn us of danger so that we can keep ourselves safe. Strange that fear is encouraged in this Psalm, which highlights so many […]

Jesus’ Patience with the Clueless Disciples

Text: Luke 22: 31-38 Reflection and Question: Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem before his arrest are full of these kinds of exchanges between the disciples and Jesus. He tries to get them to understand the suffering that is about to come and they are clueless. They don’t get it. Nevertheless, they are carried along by […]

God Grants the Request of the People

Text: 1 Samuel 8:1-22 Reflection and Question: God’s description through Samuel of the price of life under a king is quite accurate given the historical record. And yet the people insist that they must have a king fight their battles for them. In so doing, the people of Israel cast away their special relationship with […]

The Paradox of Judas’ Betrayal

Text: Luke 22: 14-23 Reflection and Question: Here is Luke’s telling of the First Communion celebrated every day ever since that first time, stretching from that sacred moment to this. And in the midst of our dearest rite is the astounding paradox: Jesus’ death “has been determined” and, as the same time, Jesus promises woe […]