When I’m in pain, I have no patience or compassion for anybody else but me. If I bang my thumb with a hammer and my wife asks me if I’m all right, I bark back, “No! Of course I’m not all right.”
All the more extraordinary that while he was in his death agony, Jesus was thinking about his mother. Left unsaid in the biblical narrative is where his stepdad Joseph was (maybe dead) and where Mary’s other sons were... Read More
Eager suitors sometimes despair that they will ever be thought worthy of the hand of the beautiful woman they are pursuing. Mid-level managers wonder if they will ever be thought worthy of executive rank. Bonehead sinners like you and me wonder if we will ever make it to heaven
We do believe in Jesus, but we still keep sinning. How depressing! What if he stops loving us? What if he finally gets sick of us? What if we are disqualified?... Read More
The prophet Isaiah had been allowed to peer seven centuries into the future. There he saw in metaphorical pictures the great drama of salvation played out before him. There was the great Suffering Servant of the Lord, represented as a sheep, helpless and about to be slaughtered.
And silent. Jesus had very little to say at the three “judicial” hearings that condemned him and nothing at all to the guards and soldiers who abused him. They beat him, pounded a... Read More
Polycarp (a.d. 69–155) may have been taught directly by John. He was an apostolic father who learned the faith from someone who learned the faith from Jesus. His Christianity wasn’t safe like mine is. It wasn’t practiced in the friendly confines of a nice church by reciting familiar liturgies. His trust in Christ’s sacrifice was fresh and intense, and every day he faced the likelihood he would have to make his own sacrifice. When he refused to burn incense to... Read More
Jack, my family’s black Lab, loves walks. What really gets him excited, however, is going home. The minute we turn into our driveway, he grabs the leash and pulls us.
He doesn’t care that we have a 420-foot driveway—uphill. He is asking us to do the equivalent of a hill sprint, leaving us breathless and worn out, but he doesn’t care because he’s going home. He loves home!
This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews meant when he wrote,... Read More
Every story needs a villain in order for the hero to shine. It sure isn’t hard to find villains in the Lenten stories of Jesus’ suffering—clueless and faithless disciples, hard-hearted Pharisees, Sadducees protecting their privileged positions, cruel and inhuman soldiers, and a cynical imperial governor. To this list could be added our names, for it was our sins that made Jesus’ terrible ordeal necessary.
You can add God’s name to the list as well. What!? God caused Jesus’ suffering? Yes.... Read More
One of the great inefficiencies of life is spending time and energy unlearning things we spent time and energy learning. It’s frustrating because we would have been better off without those monkeys on our backs to begin with. That’s why folks often say, “If I knew then, what I know now.” If I knew then that dumping information on students through a lecture was ineffective instruction, I would have been a better teacher sooner. If I knew then that a... Read More
Entrepreneurs change the world with disruptive innovations. The Internet is now the standard for accessing information and has put encyclopedia salesmen out of business. Elon Musk is hoping his Tesla Motors and SolarCity make dinosaurs out of fossil fuels. Amazon.com has brick and mortar retailers scrambling to stay viable. Drone strikes have disrupted warfare. An innovation is disruptive when it captures the marketplace because there’s nothing better.
Jesus disrupted religion. Before he came along the relationship between God and man... Read More
Okay, I’ll admit it. One of my guilty pleasures is watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s a mad funny send up of the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. Arthur is bedeviled by the multitude of fools around him who won’t cooperate in his quest for the Grail, and what’s worse, his knights are idiots and cowards. Every time they encounter an enemy they wail, “Run away!” and they all flee.
Which is... Read More
In honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday, mayors are reading in classrooms and teachers are tying their lesson plans to Dr. Seuss books—all to celebrate Read Across America Day. They want students to rediscover a love of reading.
What if Christians seized this day to celebrate Read the Bible Across America Day? If we rediscovered a love of God’s message with the same excitement and energy as kiddos who read silly rhyming words?
But we have grown-up excuses, don’t we?... Read More