Year: 2021

Ezekiel 16

We are now into our third week of Ezekiel.   Two weeks ago we saw Ezekiel’s first vision of God on his throne and read about Ezekiel’s call to be a prophet – and a whistle blower commanded to expose the sins of the priests of Israel who were his father’s peers and the men to whom he had looked for wisdom and guidance.  “The priests have desecrated the Temple and have not spoken for God. Peop ...[Read More]

Ezekiel 8-12

We left Ezekiel last week bound with ropes and unable to speak while under house arrest as the elders did not want him speaking to the people. That didn’t stop him from acting out God’s message to the leaders in exile. Because they had desecrated the Temple, God’s judgment was upon those remaining in Jerusalem and they would soon be overwhelmed by the Babylonian army. The fast approaching siege wo ...[Read More]

Ezekiel 1-7

There is not a book in the Bible with a more dramatic beginning than Ezekiel. In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar Riv ...[Read More]

Introduction to Ezekiel

For the next several weeks we are going to be in the books of Ezekiel and Daniel. I have never studied or taught either of them. Likely, some of you have spent more time in each of them than I have. So, I am a beginner. What Thomas Merton said is true:  We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!  It would be ...[Read More]

Break Bread and Give Thanks

Let’s start with a few facts and a little history. This week Americans will eat 365 million pounds of turkey; 250 million pounds of potatoes; 77 million pounds of ham; 17 million pounds of fresh cranberries; spend $42 million on canned cranberries; spend $96 million on bread crumbs for stuffing; and purchase 483,000 pounds of pumpkins for pie. That doesn’t include everything else we have like oliv ...[Read More]

Colossians 4

  Here we are at the end of one of the several letters Paul has written from his two year imprisonment in Rome – Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, Titus and Philemon. As we’ve said before, prison produces different effects in people. For some, they give themselves up to bitterness and resentment. For others, their lives are permanently dulled and slowly destroyed. For some, however, i ...[Read More]

Colossians 3:18-21

It’s remarkable to me that Paul can move so quickly from arguing against the heresy of Gnosticism and how Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation to the most practical human concerns and relationships. He is not a scholar in the ivory tower. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rule ...[Read More]

Colossians 3:1-17

Doesn’t it seem a bit ironic that after telling them to avoid people who have lists of rules to obey he would then create a list of rules of his own for us to follow? Paul was a teacher and teachers often depend on lists – especially lists that people can easily memorize and use as guides for their behavior. Of course, the shorter the better but sometimes Paul had fairly lengthy lists that w ...[Read More]

Colossians 1:24-2:20

The earliest Church may have stayed pure and all of one mind sharing everything with each other for a few days or weeks but it soon faced the realities of imperfect human nature. Yes, they were all believers and what would later be called Christians but the perfect harmony could not last for long.  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread a ...[Read More]

Colossians 1:1-20

This morning we are beginning our six weeks in the book of Colossians. It is worth noticing that the same author could have two such different perspectives of Christ and both of them are correct. They are not in conflict but two sides of the same coin. In the same way that the writers of the four Gospels have different accounts, Paul has a Philippian picture of Jesus and a Colossian picture. It wa ...[Read More]