Psalm 120 is the first in a series of “Pilgrim Psalms.” On this first step of the journey we find the Psalmist in distress. He is a foreigner in a land known for warlike and barbarian acts. We sense the Psalmist’s frustration at his ill-attempts to make peace.Read More
While working with the public in retail, ministry, and political arenas, I’ve noticed something that makes me cringe. Far too often, those who complain about something trivial, refuse to tip, or demonstrate uncharitable, disrespectful attitudes to others different from themselves are those who are vocal about their Christian faith.Read More peace, relationships, faith
From the evidence provided by our reading, we learn that Herod tended to react impulsively. Firstly, there was his reaction to John the Baptist, a righteous man who dared to publicly disapprove of Herod’s adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife. Herod impetuously had John arrested to silence his voice.
Secondly, there was his reaction to a dancing girl.Read More fear, peace, impulsiveness
This is a passage full of healing. First Jairus, whose daughter is dying. Jesus is on his way to see her, presumably to heal her, when their journey is briefly interrupted. A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years—a humiliating and socially ostracizing condition, touches his garment. “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well,” she says. And that is exactly what happened.Read More healing, peace
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to feel like you are stuck in a rat race? We dream about the house, car, vacation, clothes, and electronic devices that we see on TV or in the driveway next to ours. We work harder to obtain more, only to find out that we need to keep making more money in order to sustain what we already have and to strive for the next dream or goal that we have for our life.
In this passage of Scripture, the wisdom we are being taught is not that having material possessions is a bad thing, but that there is a better life to pursue.Read More joy, poverty, peace, possessions @en
For some of you, the beginning of this passage marks familiar territory from your childhood. “And the walls came a-tumbling down.” It was a remarkably simple strategy to defeat the city and enter it. Some marching and a little noise from the shouting and the blasting of the horn. The story however, does not end there.Read More violence, peace, war
Sometimes the truth hurts. The religious leaders in Christ’s day felt its sting when Jesus taught the parable in this passage.
“A man planted a vineyard and built a protective fence around it”, said Jesus. He dug a vat to collect the juice from crushed grapes, and he established a watchtower. Having set up the operation for success, the owner rented the facility to vine-growers and left the country.Read More joy, peace, steadfast love
The compiler of Proverbs, King Solomon, lived in a golden era of national peace. The kingdom that he inherited from his father was experiencing the good life. After decades of war, with military and political manoeuvring, the borders of the land had been secured. The historic enemies of the people had been subdued and were being held at bay. But people will be people!
It is a great irony that times of civic tranquility do not automatically lead to peaceful life at home.Read More peace
Nighttime can be difficult time for many people. At night we are more susceptible to anxieties and worries. Some suffer insomnia because of the unbearable weight of burdens. Others wake up in the middle of the night finding themselves in a vicious fight with fearful thoughts. The night can confront us with threats that scare us or situations that overwhelm us. We must fight with these anxious thoughts on our own or trust the Lord to come to our rescue.Read More rest, sleep, protection, safety, peace
I love receiving gifts. Giving gifts is a gesture that people have used for centuries to express love, peace and forgiveness.
In this case, the gift offering that Abigail brought David changed the destiny for thousands of people in the city of Carmel. However it wasn’t the gift that brought the change to Abigail’s people – it was that the gift offering was received as acceptable to David.Read More peace, cross, gift