Category Archives: Commentary

Provide commentary on scripture or insight on other postings.

As We Forgive our Debtors

NoTrespass

As a kid, I found this phrase from the Our Father a bit curious.

I first learned the prayer with the word trespasses in it,  as quoted below:

forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Although I ran through the woods quite a bit, I never violated any “No Trespassing” signs. So I thought myself quite safe.

Now a bit older I realize this portion of prayer is not so safe at all.  Augustine called it “The terrible petition. For if we utter it with an unforgiving heart, we are asking the Lord NOT to forgive us.

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Inspiring Hospitality

elijah-widowHer back ached and her stomach murmured, with a silent sore hunger. She straightened up with a few straggling sticks in her hand and gazed at the gate and stonewall that circled the city. Her husband crushed, repairing the very gate, she stood without. The memories of his love crammed away like the kindling she now stuffed in her satchel. The sticks would fuel a flame to feed a final meal for her only boy and perhaps her too.

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The One Rule on Fashion

Policy Violation Warning Danger Sign Non Compliance Rules Regula
The one rule on fashion is don’t make rules.
Sometimes it seems like it would just be easier to have a handy list of answers to questions like these:

  • How much can I spend on a dress?
  • Is wearing a $200 watch more about fashion or function?
  • How short a skirt can I wear?
  • Should I wear a suit to church?

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for rule making and rule following – yet – that’s exactly what we want sometimes. What’s the problem with rules?

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Get out of Them Thorns

You’ve received a treasure beyond comprehension. It has somehow fallen into your lap. However, its’ value in this world is questionable.  The true value is only fully recognized in another kingdom.

How might an enemy steel this treasure from you?

  • Plan A: Get you to ignore it before you realize its’ value.
  • Plan B: Get you to question its’ value through criticism.
  • Plan C: Get you to abandon it by valuing other stuff more.

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What People Miss about the Rich Young Ruler

There are  three key things in the story of the Rich Young Ruler that people miss.  The story is about an eager young man who fails to value Jesus more than his wealth. In the end he goes away sad.

The three points

First, how did this man approach Jesus?  Did he approach him as a flawed man needing a savior? Or did he approach him in a manner saying, I am OK tell me so? Who needs a savior, if they don’t need to be saved?   This man wanted a pat on the back. He didn’t want a change in his heart. Jesus wanted this man’s heart changed. Hence, he challenged him in a hard way based on the fact that he presented himself as someone who had ‘arrived’. Continue reading What People Miss about the Rich Young Ruler

Saul and Jonathan

Saul and Jonathan were a father – son team whose lives both ended sadly and abruptly on the same day. It appears that Jonathan trusted his father; because of this, some speculate that Saul was a good one. The odd thing about this though, is that we discover his trust was misplaced.

Maybe he was a good dad at one point but I’m fairly certain he didn’t remain that way. As Saul traveled down the road away from God often out of expediency and self-absorption, his fatherhood suffered.

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The Unjust Steward

A perspective from the pew

Many people have a problem understanding Luke 16:1-15, because Jesus appears to praise bad behavior. This parable, like many, deals with the subject of money. A rich man and the rich man’s manager are the primary characters. The dishonest manager or steward is accused of misusing his boss’s possessions. He hatches a scheme to forgive a great portion of his client’s debt that’s owed to his boss. He does this out of pure self-interest, hoping to establish friendships with his debtors. This way, when things go bad, he will have relationships to help cover him. When his boss discovers the scheme, he praises him for his shrewdness.

Jesus doesn’t fully explain the meaning of the parable, so we are left feeling confused like his disciples, who often came to him afterwards wanting an explanation. Fortunately, most commentators agree that the key to understanding this parable is in verses 8 and 9.

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