Obeying God Not Human Authority

Text: Acts 5: 27-42 Reflection and Question: Just as Peter had to speak out, GLBT Christians are driven by the Holy Spirit to seek to serve God. The council judging Peter had the wisdom to listen to Gamaliel: “if this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail, but if it is of God, you […]

God’s Hand Lays Heavy on the Philistines

Text: 1 Samuel 5: 1-12 Reflection and Question: : I was well into my adulthood when I read somewhere the suggestion that Israelites might have crept into the temple of Dagon at night to tip over and vandalize the idol of the Philistine god. Likewise, the notes for this passage in the Oxford Annotated New […]

Faith as our Foundation

Text: James 1: 1-18 Reflection and Question: Martin Luther disliked the letter of James because it seemed to emphasize works rather than faith as the foundation for Christian life. This first chapter challenges that reputation. It is a clarion call for faith in the face of hardship and temptation, a faith rooted in the declaration […]

Rejoicing in God’s Vindication

Text: Psalm 98 Reflection and Question: The house of Israel is mentioned, but the main thrust of this joyful praise is God’s creative rule and imminent coming in judgment of all the earth. There is no fear in this excited and loving anticipation of God. To the ends of the earth, all nations have seen […]

Samuel Emerges as Eli Fades

Text: 1 Samuel 3: 1-21 Reflection and Question: Prophetic visions were not widespread and Eli, the faithful prophet with the wayward sons, could not see. But he knew enough to realize that the Lord was reaching out to Samuel and helped him listen. So Samuel began his service as a trustworthy prophet of the Lord. […]

Seeing Us Through Jesus’ Eyes

Text: Luke 20: 41-21:4 Reflection and Question: In the parable about the widow’s offering, the rich and the learned tower above the poor widow in the eyes of Jesus’ world (and ours). But Jesus praises her for giving “all she had to live on.” That’s what he sees. When did you last see what is […]

A Trick Answer to a Trick Question

Text: Luke 20: 27-40 Reflection and Question: The context for this exchange between Temple leaders and Jesus is the controversy raging then over resurrection. Jesus stumps them by claiming that in the age to come, there will be no marriage. One very faithful GLBT friend takes great consolation from this teaching because it puts marriage, […]

Naming a Disciple to Replace Judas

Text: Acts 1: 15-26 Reflection and Question: Out of all His followers, Jesus chose twelve to be His disciples, a number resonant with the twelve tribes of Israel. When Judas betrayed Jesus and died, the company of believers needed to replace him from those who had been with Jesus from the beginning at His baptism. […]

Hannah’s Predicament and Plea

Text: 1 Samuel 1: 1-20 Reflection and Question: The fact is that the love of Elkanah, her husband, does not shelter Hannah from the ridicule and scorn for being barren that is heaped upon her by his other wife. But when Eli takes as drunkenness her passionate plea to God for a child, Hannah stands […]

To Be Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Text: Psalm 139 Reflection and Question: For my friend, Ethel, this psalm is her greatest comfort and inspiration in the face of the condemnation she has received from church people because she is lesbian. The opening verses console her with the promise of God’s constant presence. The middle section affirms that she is wonderfully made […]