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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Days of Creation

Psalm 104:1–35
1Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. 5He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. 10You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; 11they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they…

Spit

Mark 7:31-37
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The prophet Isaiah foretold the miracles of a coming Savior 700 years before Jesus arrives in the flesh. Isaiah’s words ring true as Jesus heals a deaf/mute man of his affliction and the people make the connection.
I…

Settling for Crumbs

Mark 7:24–30
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
I grew up in a house with dogs. We never had more than one at a time, but we always had one. My mother had to chide me almost every night not to feed the dog from table during dinner. Inevitab…

Unclean vs. Clean OR Tradition vs. Truth

Mark 7:1-23
1Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” 9 And he sa…

More Water Walking

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Mark 6:45–56
45 Immediately [after feeding 5,000] he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. 53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. …

Our Good Father

Psalm 103
Of David. 1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord sh…

Another Surprising Text

Mark 6:30–44
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38…