Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
From "The Art of Reading Scripture" edited by Ellen Davis and Richard B. Hays [pg 3].
Faithful interpretation of Scripture invites and presupposes participation in the community brought into being by God's redemptive action.
Scripture is like a musical score that must be played or sung in order to be understood.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
My God, my Father, blissful NameO may I call Thee mineMay I with sweet assurance claimA portion so divineThis only can my fears controlAnd bid my sorrows flyWhat harm can ever reach my soulBeneath my Father's eyeWhate'er Thy providence deniesI calmly would resignFor Thou art just and good and wiseO bend my will to ThineWhate'er Thy sacred will ordainsO give me strength to bearAnd let me know my Father reignsAnd trust His tender careIf pain and sickness rend this frameAnd life almost departIs not Thy mercy still the sameTo cheer my drooping heartIf cares and sorrows me surroundTheir pow'r why should I fearMy inward peace they cannot woundIf Thou, my God, art near
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
He is before all things and in him all things hold together.How does that work? How do all things, living or non-living, have their ongoing sustenance in/by Jesus? Or here's another one,
All things have been created through him and for him.So, Paul, you're saying that not only did this Jesus cause all that is to come into existence, whether the seemingly infinite galaxies or the subatomic particles, but all things are somehow for Him? Hmmm. Wow.
While the majority of this passage is masterful and elegant in content, style, structure, etc, Paul ends in 1.20 on a minor chord. He says that Jesus
Made peace through the blood of His cross.Now if you're living in the Roman Empire in the first century, the cross is not cute or even religious. The cross was for guilty criminals whose heinous deeds were known to all. Crucifixions were done publicly so as to shame the guilty. People were more than welcome to mock those being crucified to make themselves feel better.
If one was to think of the cross in light of the Roman Empire, they would think of it as the dark, dirty underbelly of justice. Those people were getting what was coming to them. The cross was a symbol of retribution. No one would ever dare think something as dumb or demented as peace being made through the cross. However, this was precisely the case.
This cross is saying something about the depth of the stain of sin [1.14, 21-22]. This cross is saying something about the greatness of the love of the Father [1.12-13]. There is something so radical and counter-cultural about the cross of Jesus that it changed Paul's thinking to its very core. It must effect the same in us.