Digging in Deeper: Amos 8:1-2

“The Lord God showed me this: a basket of summer fruit. He asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ I replied, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’ The Lord said to me, ‘The end has come for my people Israel; I will no longer spare them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you really want to learn the nuances of a foreign language, one of the best ways to go about doing that is by learning to read its poetry. Poetry is heavily rooted in imagery and sound play. Because of this, while you can translate the poem in order to understand all the words and maybe even grasp the poet’s point, without knowing the original language, there are elements the poet intended to be understood in certain ways you are nonetheless likely to miss. This all comes into play in these couple of verse from Amos. Let’s talk about how and what it means for us.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Hebrews 1:1-2

“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing-wax –
Of cabbages – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings.”

Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

When I was in Mr. Brock’s eighth grade algebra class, those words meant it was time to change up our seating chart. They still stick with me today and ring in my ears anytime I embark on something new. Well, it’s time for something new. The last week was a nice, natural break, but I am ready for a new journey with you. This is actually a journey I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Over the next few months, we are going to be slowly making our way through the New Testament letter of Hebrews. Hebrews is one of the most theological rich and pastorally impactful documents in the whole of the Scriptures. It easily rivals Romans on that score, in my opinion. But instead of offering a basic primer on the Gospel, Hebrews takes its readers deeper in an exploration of the preeminence of Christ. As we go, then, we are going to see why Jesus is so great. We’ll also encounter several applications of His greatness that are designed and intended to make us squirm a bit. I’m excited to dive in with you. I hope you’ll come with me for every step of the journey.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Micah 7:6

“Surely a son considers his father a fool, a daughter opposes her mother, and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every family has a worldview. It may be a jumbled mess, but every single family has a set of things that they believe together. Children raised in that house assume on that worldview until they are old enough to question it. At that point they may consciously own it, but they might also reject it. Eventually, families often expand by marriage. This introduces new worldviews into the mix. Hopefully the two or more worldviews are similar, but they may not be. The result of all this is often chaos and conflict. Why am I starting with this when it doesn’t at all seem to be Micah’s point? Because it was Jesus’ point a few hundred years later.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Daniel 6:10-11

“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem.  He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.  Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Daniel had been doing this three times a day in this same place for years.  This time, though, had to feel a bit different.  This was the first time he knew he was actively breaking the law by doing it.  And yet, the place and the pattern were both well-worn in his life.  At the time to which he was very much accustomed, Daniel got down on his knees in front of the window in his upper room and prayed.  Shortly afterwards–as he knew would happen–he was arrested and hauled before the king. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Psalm 81:8

“Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!  O Israel, if you would but listen to me!”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Do you listen to God?  I don’t know about you, but I can pretty easily find myself in a rut of talking to God a lot, but not stopping to listen very often.  I can get into a pattern of reading God’s word every day because I’m supposed to (especially as a pastor!), but not paying very close attention to what He might want to say to me through it.  Let’s just call it what it is: Listening to God is tough. Read the rest…