David, Jesus, and the 23rd Psalm

Last Sunday was the day in the church year when the regular round of Bible readings comes to the 23rd Psalm, as well as the New Testament passage about how Christ is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18).  Therefore, the day is heralded as Good Shepherd Sunday.

Pastor Douthwaite began by posing this question:  “I would like to know when David wrote the 23rd Psalm.” [Read more...]

Beggars at the Temple gates

The reading for last Sunday at our church was about the lame beggar at the Temple gate who was healed by Peter (Acts 3:1-21).  You should see what our pastor did with that passage, showing how we are in the position of the beggar and how we too receive God’s grace at a different kind of Temple gate. [Read more...]

Access to the Bible

So what percentage of the world’s 6,101 languages do you think have translations of the Bible?  WRONG (probably)!

The Barna Group has conducted a study of Americans’ perceptions of how accessible the Bible is globally.  Most Americans think the Bible is more available than it really is.   See the findings–as well as the correct statistics–after the jump. [Read more...]

Drinking His cup, being baptized with His baptism

Our sermon for the beginning of Passiontide was Mark 10:32-45, the passage about James and John asking Jesus if they could sit on His right hand and His left when He comes into His kingdom.  I had studied this text extensively for what it teaches about authority and vocation (how authority is not to be used to “lord it over” others, but to serve those whom you have authority over).  But somehow I never noticed that the passage is also about baptism and Holy Communion.  Read the connection after the jump.  And see whom God prepared to be on His right hand and on His left.

[Read more...]

“We loathe this worthless food”

Last Sunday one of our Scripture readings was about the children of Israel complaining in the wilderness, whereupon they were attacked by fiery serpents until Moses healed them by lifting up a bronze serpent on a pole, which Jesus would later apply to Himself (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21).

I was struck by one of the Israelite’s whines:  “We loathe this worthless food” (Numbers 21:5).  They were talking about Manna!  The miraculous food that God supplied them day by day without their effort!  It was delicious!  “It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16: 31).  And yet, even though this was an astounding miracle from a loving God, the people got tired of it.  They thought it was boring.  It became something to complain about.  “We loathe this worthless food.”

How often we–or, I should say, I–take our blessings for granted, to the point of thinking them worthless.  The only remedy, I suppose, is for fiery serpents to awake us to our need.  And for the Bronze Serpent to show us how that very sinfulness has been crucified and for the one who bore that sin in His body to heal us. [Read more...]

Childhood home of Jesus found?

An archaeologist may have discovered the house in Nazareth in which Jesus grew up.  He found a first-century house, upon which had been built a church, corresponding to ancient records about the Church of the Nutrition that was reportedly erected over the place where young Jesus and his family lived. [Read more...]


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