Thursday, March 28, 2019

What's Manure Got to Do with It?

There’s a parable in Luke 13 that we non-farmers may have a hard time understanding, featuring a fig tree that won’t bear figs, and a farmer that won’t cut the tree down. What’s going on? The people listening to Jesus heard an agricultural problem — the tree was messed up, and the

Monday, March 25, 2019

Set Someone Free Today

In Luke 13, Jesus notices a woman who has had "a disabling spirit" for 18 years, and sets her free. He does so on the Sabbath, the religious day of rest. His opponents complain he ought not be doing such work on the Sabbath, and Jesus argues that, if releasing a farm animal for water on the Sabbath is allowed, then surely releasing this woman is allowed also.

This is not just an argument to draw different lines in a

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Give Up What???

“Lent — isn’t that where you have to give up something?” asked the barista at Starbucks the other day. Yes, giving up chocolate or something else pleasurable is part of Lent, but not the purpose, or even the main feature.

"Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, reminds us that,

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Which Way Now?

Jesus’ disciples had a hard time figuring him out. Even as he "resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51) they were thinking he was preparing for revolt: since he was “the Anointed One of God” (9:20), surely their missions in chapters 9 and 10 were to build up a larger