The lives of the rich and famous are consistently on display for all of us to see. Every day, we can be surrounded with stories of people we can see are moving towards success, and people who seem to be heading towards disaster. We talk about the path they seem to be on as if we know all of what is happening in their lives. If our lives were on display like those of the “famous,” what would people be able to see about the path we seem to be on?Read More
Fear and trepidation walk closely behind every person called to a new work for God, much of it due to a concern about how what we hope to give to God will be received, and perceived, by others. The people of Israel were poor followers, so much so that they pushed their former leader Moses to the edge of despair. Yet, God had chosen them and promised them a land where they would prosper and where eventually they would bring forth the promised Saviour; and God would deliver on this promise.Read More courage, remember, story
As the story proceeds, the children of Israel are encamped on the eastern side of the Jordan River, and they look to enter the land by moving west. Across the river is the heavily fortified city of Jericho, the gateway, we might say, to the promised land. Joshua’s first act is to find out what he is facing, that is, how strong are the fortifications, what kind of resistance might be expected, what is the state of morale. So he sends in spies.Read More belief, faith, trust
Rahab’s faith was not unknown to God, for every person who has faith is known to God and no faith goes unanswered. This is why the spies, thinking that they were simply being smart spies ended up in the care of the one person in the city who had faith, because God knew her and loved her and intended to respond to her faith with salvation. However faith is not faith without confession, for it is one of the mysteries of faith that it is not faith if it is all tucked away secretly; no, somewhere faith must show itself as trust that defies the wisdom of this world.Read More faith, trust
On his way to Judea, Jesus crossed the Jordan seizing opportunities to heal and teach about the kingdom of God as he traveled. Large crowds followed him. Likely, people were heading for Jerusalem to observe the Passover.
Threatened by his popularity, some of the Pharisees wanted to test Jesus in hopes that they could trip him up and discredit him.Read More commitment, divorce, Pharisees
Children rely on their parents or caregivers to feed them, to clothe them, to love and care for them. They trust freely. They expect that they will be nourished and nurtured. Children instinctively know how to get on with growing and discovering.
In today’s passage we sense the love Jesus had for the children who were being brought to him.Read More children, faith, trust
Where many psalms express human praise and petition, Psalm 50 articulates God’s perspective. He arrives in a storm cloud to assess the “State of the Union” with his covenant people. Not all is well.
Many of the Israelites are relying on the rituals of sacrifice, less as an expression of real relationship than as a system of attempted bribes.Read More feast, sacrifice, thankfulness