Year: 2020

Caesar Augustus and Jesus: Luke 2

When I taught the book Eric Metaxas wrote on Bonhoeffer, I looked at it through the lens of the story of two men who collide without ever having met. Had there not been an Adolph Hitler we would have probably never heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Had there never been a Dietrich Bonhoeffer things might have turned out differently in Germany. Their lives were joined together. This is the same kind of ...[Read More]

The Magnificat

The Song of Mary Over the holidays we have time again to think about images of Mary, the mother of Jesus and also the subject of our text this morning. Traditionally, what is our picture of Mary? An innocent virgin, humble servant, surprised and disturbed by what she hears from Gabriel, frightened by losing the young Jesus who has stayed behind in Jerusalem. She is the patient mother at the weddin ...[Read More]

Luke 1:1-25

Luke 1:1-25 1. Luke has been called the writer who most presents Jesus through the eyes of women and the Gospel starts from the beginning with two women – Elizabeth and Mary. Not just two women but women in very difficult circumstances. One with no child late in life and the other with a child early in life but unmarried. There are several miracles in the Bible related to a woman not having a chil ...[Read More]

Isaiah 65

I feel somewhat like I do when the kids and grandkids leave for home after a short visit. I wish I would have had more time with them.  However, I know they will be back and we will have more. On the other hand, at this stage of life I doubt if I will have another opportunity to teach Isaiah and that makes me regret we do not have more time. We barely skimmed the surface and next week we move on t ...[Read More]

Isaiah 58

  This morning we are in Isaiah 58 and, like last week, it helps to have a little context.  In Isaiah 55 the Lord invites the people to come to him and be healed.  “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.” “Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peac ...[Read More]

Isaiah 53

This morning we are looking at Isaiah 53 and the Suffering Servant. Let’s begin at the end of chapter 52: 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—     his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being     and his form marred beyond human likeness— 15 so he will sprinkle many nations,     and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they wi ...[Read More]

Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49 Last week we looked at the character and role of Cyrus who had been anointed and called by God to liberate the Jews from their captivity in Babylon.  He is even referred to in the text as the (lower case) messiah and savior. He was a conqueror and king.  He was a military genius. But he was only a precursor, an opening act, for the real Messiah and Savior.  It is the king and conqueror w ...[Read More]

Isaiah 40

It is safe to say if there were an album titled, “The Best of Isaiah” this chapter would be included. It would be in “The Best of the Old Testament” and even “The Best of All Literature.” While many, if not most, of us recognize it from singing or hearing it performed every Christmas as one of the high points in Handel’s “Messiah” it also contains some of the most quoted and memorable verses in al ...[Read More]

Isaiah 45

Several weeks ago when we were told what the lessons were for this time I looked up where we would be on the Sunday before the election and uttered a little prayer, “Lord, please make it have nothing to do with the election or with political figures.” I checked out Isaiah 46 and was relieved to know it was all about idols and false gods and how there is only one God. What a relief! But then I knew ...[Read More]

Isaiah 24-25

Last week we looked at God’s judgement on nations surrounding Israel – especially the nation of Tyre.  What is the common denominator in their sin and their eventual downfall?  It is pride. Pride expressed as splendor, idolatry, insolence, fame and haughtiness.  What is their punishment? Shame, humiliation, and eventually destruction. Their promise has been perverted by their pride. I have b ...[Read More]