February 11, 2018 by jmar198013
A “pilot episode” for a new feature of my blog, “Untwisting Scripture.” In each edition, I will explore a commonly misapplied passage from the Bible. I’ll explain what it actually means, and how we can faithfully apply it. In this first edition, I’ll be looking at Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” Turns out those words aren’t good news after all. At least not for the ones God said it to.
June 27, 2017 by jmar198013
We often invite people to join us in prayer when we’re hurt, scared, or confused. But how often do we invite our friends to join us in prayers of thanksgiving, as a community, when our prayers have been answered? Psalm 30 affirms the prayer of lament, but also making our personal joy a time for community praise and celebration. This way, it helps us both to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
June 22, 2017 by jmar198013
The Psalms not only give us new language to speak to God with; they give us new and colorful ways to describe God, imagine God, and experience God. This leads to deeper and richer conversations with God. Psalm 23 imagines God as both a shepherd guiding us through scary places; and a host who wines and dines us in his own home. Other psalms portray God as a warrior, food and drink, and even a mother with a nursing baby at her breast. When we learn to imagine and speak to God with these metaphors, we learn God’s faithfulness to meet all our needs.
June 14, 2017 by jmar198013
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King said “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” That’s the burning sentiment behind the prayer that asks: How long?
June 6, 2017 by jmar198013
Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray, and he taught them a prayer popularly known as the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11.1-4). The Psalms also teach us to pray. What happens when you allow the Lord’s Prayer and one of the Psalms to have a conversation with each other? In this sermon, we find that Psalm 100 illuminates the Lord’s Prayer; and the Lord’s prayer does the same for Psalm 100.