On the Fiscal Cliff with John the Baptist: Luke 3:7-18

By Carolyn J. SharpRecently I had the unsettling experience of receiving unsolicited financial advice from John the Baptist. Not directly, of course— his counsel was mediated through an ancient codex, the Gospel of Luke. Written in the latter part of the first century, this text has been lovingly interpreted by monks, artists, preachers, musicians, and biblical scholars from past eras to today. Luke is a rich source of traditions about Jesus of Nazareth, and given the Gospel’s clear links to … [Read more...]

After the Chaos Ends: Jeremiah 33:14-16

By Amy EricksonJeremiah’s promise of a future restoration for Israel and Judah centers on the image of a righteous branch. This image, while somewhat strange to our culture, carries along with it a rich and varied tradition, deeply rooted in the world and literature of the Old Testament. The tree of life in the Garden of Eden links trees with ideas of abundance, fertility, and renewal.The Old Testament also uses arboreal imagery to talk about leaders, especially kings. In the famous p … [Read more...]