Would Jesus Take a Selfie? (Heretic’s Guide for Sun, Dec 8, 2013)

jesus selfie

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Isaiah 11:1-10 The prophet offers a vision of hope to the people of Israel, who are under siege by the Assyrian army. In his future vision, humanity and the rest of creation are all woven together into a single tapestry of creation. There is a new order established, a promise of new growth and of stability and peace. Psalm Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 A prayer for the welfare of the people’s king (not sure which one based on the … [Read more...]

The Messiness of Togetherness (Sun, Dec 1, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Isaiah 2:1-5 Perhaps the most beautiful text in Isaiah, in which the prophet describes how those who seek the wisdom of God will turn their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. It is a vision of unifying, reconciling piece among all nations. Psalm Psalm 122 Jerusalem is described as a city on a hill to which the 12 tribes of Israel make pilgrimage. It reinforces the idea that this is a holy site and that … [Read more...]

It’s Not What It Looks Like! (Heretic’s Guide for Sun, Nov 24, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Jeremiah 23:1-6 The prophet, speaking for God, condemns the failure of previous Jewish leaders to protect their people from outside forces, while also offering a promise to reconcile those exiled together, once again. Psalm Psalm 46 A song of the power of God to preserve the City of David (Zion), and also to end all war and conflict for all times, in every corner of the earth. It is a call to hope and faith even when present … [Read more...]

What’s Old is New…and Then Old Again (Sun. Nov 18, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Isaiah 65:17-25 The prophet envisions a new heaven and earth, in which life in Jerusalem will be long, prosperous and no longer in service to occupying powers. There will be unprecedented peace, down to the wild animals who will lie together. The only one out of luck is the serpent, who has to eat dust. Poor guy. Isaiah 12 A prayer of praise and thanks to God, who is the people’s strength and salvation. God forgives, gets over … [Read more...]

The Faith Needed to Fail (Study for Sun, Nov 8, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Haggai 1:15b-2:9 Haggai is trying to rally the Jewish faithful to restore the temple to its former glory. At the moment they are very discouraged by the fact that it is sitting in utter ruin from the previous siege. The prophet assures them that prosperity and honor will return to them as a people soon enough, and he reminds them that the state of the Temple is symbolic of their relationship with God. and Job 19:23-27a Job is … [Read more...]

Show Your Cheeks for Jesus (Heretic’s Guide for Sun, Nov 1, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18 Daniel has a dream of four beasts rising from the ocean. His dream interpreter explains to him that these beasts represent four kings who will rule over the land. But also that the one true king (God) will prevail over all earthly authority. Psalm Psalm 149 A curious song of praise that also serves as a rallying cry to battle for the people of Israel. First, it calls them to joyful praise of God and every … [Read more...]

Being Bad at Doing Good

about-a-boy

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Joel 2:23-32 Respite from the droughts and plagues of locusts has finally arrived. Rains have returned and the earth is yielding food in abundance. Time of judgment is over and God's people are now entering a time of restoration and of plenty. and Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 Jeremiah is doing two things in this text. First, he offers a prayer of confession for the sinfulness of the people of Israel. He speaks on their behalf to … [Read more...]

The Meaning of Life: The Hippo and the Crocodile (BONUS CONTENT)

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My sincerest apologies to David Ackerman for posting this late. Although he got it to me on time, I am posting it after the Sunday it was intended for. David, the next time we are together, I am indebted to you for one swift kick in the ass.  Please take the time to read David's fantastic commentary, and to check out his book, "Beyond the Lectionary." “The Meaning of Life: The Hippo and the Crocodile” A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible Bonus Readings from Beyond the Lectionary by David … [Read more...]

Be Annoying for God (Heretic’s Guide for Sunday, Oct 20, 2013)

jim carey

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Jeremiah 31:27-34 God is preparing to spiritually clean house with the people of Israel. Although they broke the covenant with God that had been made before their time in Egypt, God will infuse this new covenant within them, on their hearts, so they cannot forsake it. All former sins will be forgiven and there will be a new beginning. and Genesis 32:22-31 Jacob wrestles with a man in a place he names “Peniel,” after the … [Read more...]

A Leper’s Messiah (Study for Sunday, Oct 13, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) First Reading Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Jeremiah advises the exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon to go one with their lives while in exile, and even to pray for the welfare of their occupiers, since their well-being and the exiles’ well-being are married together. 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c Story of Naaman (copied from July 7, 2013 study) Naaman is a great warrior for King Aram but he suffers from leprosy.  Elisha invites Naaman to his house in order to … [Read more...]