The Truth About Ruth

This Eastertide series is ostensibly about resurrection displayed in Scripture other than the Easter story, but it’s turning out to be just as much about ruining our favorite childhood stories from the Bible. This week, we took on Ruth. If you’re like me, you grew up thinking this was one of the great romances of the Bible. Ruth and Boaz …

Myth and Reality

Many of us probably haven’t read the story of Noah’s ark since we were kids. If you read it again, you might find some surprises. I always had this idea that Noah was exhorting the people around him to get on the boat, but they just mocked him as a fool building a boat in the desert. That’s not what …

The Alpha and the Omega

Our plan for Eastertide this year is to take the Gospel of Mark seriously: the promise of resurrection, but not the experience of it. What other evidence do we find in Scripture and in our lives that resurrection is real? I asked this question of my Bible-nerd friends on Facebook and suggested that the real answer was “the whole Bible.” …

When We Rise Up

It’s unclear whether the Gospel of Mark should be read with a mullet or a beret. It was ignored for the first six centuries of Christian history because it is clumsily written and has an odd narrative structure. But now we have post-modernism and what was considered clumsy is now considered a point of view; what was odd is now …

Seeing the Promised Land

Throughout Lent, we’ve been talking about two journeys: the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land; and the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem and the cross. This week, both those journeys reached their penultimate moments. In the former, the Israelites camp on the eastern side of border of the Promised Land, the Jordan River across from Jericho. Moses goes …

Of Riches and Rewards

Jesus finally made it out of Galilee this past Sunday on his journey to Jerusalem and the cross. The setting is bleak in Judea beyond the Jordan. I think it looks worse now, thanks to global warming and excessive farming, but it was always “the wilderness,” which was a designation of desolation. There are and were oases that could support …

Playing with Fire

I remember when people began to talk about their “inner child.” Like most people, I thought it sounded ridiculous. Whatever problems we might have, I did not believe an inability for adults to act like children was one of them. Then I went to a therapist that used inner child imaging to really dig around in my psyche. I have …

Signs and Wonders and Real Change

Last week’s passage (Mark 9.14-29) ends with a statement from Jesus that reframes the meaning of the passage, like watching The Sixth Sense. But we hardly notice it because we’ve heard this passage so many times and have cultural construct of faith healings that tells us what it means. We imagine all of Jesus’ healings and exorcisms as a show …