Showing posts from February, 2019

Cheeky: 7th Sunday OT

The teaching of Jesus about loving enemies and turning the other cheek can be hard to get a grip on. It definitely sounds lofty and idealistic, but how many of us could say we put it into practice in some real and concrete way — say, during the last week? The first reading is not a situation you probably encountered this week, but it’s still a good starting point. You never had an enemy like Saul was to David. He was trying to kill him, actively trying to murder him! And David knows that Saul is also at war with God. Saul seems to be standing as an obstacle to everything God is trying to accomplish in His plan of salvation. He’s corrupt and wicked and he’s proven himself untrustworthy time and again. Finally David gets a chance to set all this right and save his life. The scene is this: it’s night. An expeditionary force of three thousand of Saul’s best troops are out to get David. There’s at least a high compliment being paid, if Saul thinks he needs his best three thousand guys j

Poor, hungry, weeping, and happy: 6th Sunday OT

Jeremiah tells us how to be unhappy. Cursed is actually the word he uses. “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Cursed why? Because those things just aren’t going to work. They aren’t enough! God made creatures in His own image and likeness, He made them for Himself, and our hearts will never find rest in anything less. Your soul is made for God, and whatever you try to substitute is not going to make you happy. Even the very best things in life… if you try to substitute them for God, even the best things in life become a curse. One more dissatisfaction, one more frustration, never enough. Or to use Jeremiah’s incredibly vivid imagery: “He is like a barren bush in the desert, that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.” Barren, because you’re spending your life doing nothing fruitful and lasting. Enjoying no change of seasons, why? Because the variety, the richne

Caught: 5th Sunday OT

Take just a moment to feel Peter’s frustration when he tells the Lord, “we’ve been working hard all night long and have caught nothing.” Imagine working all through the night and having nothing to show for it; I know my state of mind would not be great. Maybe you can remember something you worked so hard at, did everything you knew how to do, and it just didn’t happen. Maybe, like Peter and company trying to fish, you couldn’t even say what you were doing wrong. I’ve been there with my fishing pole, for sure. Those days you throw literally everything in your tacklebox... nothing. You try different colors. You try different depths. You try different movements. Nothing! You’re doing all the stuff you’re supposedly supposed to do, and there’s no catch. For some people, maybe for some of us here, our life can feel like that in general. You couldn’t name some mistake you’re making. You’re pretty much doing the stuff you think you're supposed to do. So where’s your catch? Where’s the p