Category Archives: exegesis
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August 8, 2017 by jmar198013
In Acts 2.38, Peter told the assembly: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When 3000 came forward to be baptized, they were plunged into an old, old story that promised a new beginning. Baptism tells a story as old as the heavens and the earth. And it’s a story that will be re-told in the new heavens and new earth.
May 11, 2017 by jmar198013
March 2, 2017 by jmar198013
February 3, 2017 by jmar198013
When the people saw Jesus at work, they said: “God has come to help his people.” And just maybe, if we follow Jesus—bringing the Good News of God’s salvation to the dark and desperate corners of our time, even across enemy lines—people will also see our work, and conclude that God has come to help them. Through his people.
January 13, 2017 by jmar198013
Jesus told his neighbors, in no uncertain terms, that God didn’t intend for Jubilee to be proclaimed only to them. Jesus had come to preach the Good News of God’s salvation to all the poor folk. To heal all the blind folk. To proclaim forgiveness and release to all the captives. Yes, even the tax collectors and Samaritans and … even the Romans. God had sent him to proclaim Jubilee to everyone. Even their enemies. And that’s what got them mad enough to throw Jesus off a cliff. Because there’s this human tendency to think blessing is a zero-sum game. Good news for somebody has to mean bad news for somebody else. There can’t be a “year of the Lord’s favor” without a corresponding “day of vengeance for our God.” Jesus came to show us it doesn’t really have to be that way.
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December 3, 2016 by jmar198013
Joel’s prophecy begins with terror–fields and vineyards stripped bare by locusts, and the threat of the Day of the LORD, when God will come to shake things up. But it ends with hope–not only will God restore what the locusts took, but he promises a day of hope for all flesh, and all creation, when all will be restored. The season of Advent likewise points us back to a dark time, when a poor man and woman lay their vulnerable firstborn son in a feeding trough. But that child was God’s visitation, bringing hope to all peoples and all creation. Thus is hope born in us, and through us, the world.
October 7, 2016 by jmar198013
Ps 15.4 blesses the person “who keeps their promise even when it hurts.” In our story today, we saw God keep his promises, even though it hurt him. Moses reminded God of the promises he’d made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And because God is a faithful God, he kept his promises to them. So God didn’t give up on Israel—even when they broke his heart, and he really wanted to.
And he still hasn’t given up. Not on humanity. Not on his creation. He’s still the God who is faithful, even when it hurts. He proved that once and for all when an angry mob freaked out and committed an even graver sin than worshiping before a golden calf. As they nailed God’s Son Jesus to a cross, Jesus pleaded: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
So God did just that; he forgave.
And he hasn’t stopped forgiving.