Jeremiah Week 10

Solidarity in Suffering

The word of the LORD finally comes to pass. Jerusalem falls and the Babylonians take over. The destruction is terrifying and the suffering is immense. After months of mistreatment at the hands of Jerusalem’s political powers, Jeremiah turns out to have been right. Full reading and audio »

Selections From the Prophets Week 10

Jonah (Postexilic): A Tale of Two Cities: Jonah 3:6–10

As mentioned in our introduction to the Prophets, one of the things that ironically unify the prophetic literature is the diversity we find. In all but one book of the Prophets, the major theme is found in the message of God given to the prophet and then spoken through the prophet to Israel. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 10

The Rules of the Race: Hebrews 11:1—12:13

Hebrews is not the roll call of the spiritually bankrupt unfaithful — just the opposite. It’s a celebration of those faithful Old Testament figures who anticipated the Christ and form a “cloud of witnesses” for those who presently follow him. Full reading and audio »

Mark Week 10

The End That Is Not The End: Mark 16:1–20

In the 1980s and 1990s, a new kind of young-adult fiction rose in popularity. One series was called Choose Your Own Adventure. The reader of these books would take an active role in determining the outcome of the story.
Full reading and audio »

1 & 2 Samuel Week 10

David’s Fall From Grace: Sex and Violence in David’s House: 2 Samuel 8–12

These chapters move from the heights of the glorious Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7 to the depths of David’s mistakes. We may lose something in our admiration for David, but we will gain believability in the story that is told so honestly and unsparingly. Full reading and audio »

Selections From Israel's Story Week 10

Spies and Lies: Numbers 13–14

There is a joke that starts with the question, “Why did it take the Israelites 40 years to get out of the desert?” Answer: “Because none of the men would stop to ask for directions.” These two chapters in Numbers give the real reason, which turns out to be no laughing matter. Full reading and audio »

Romans Week 10

Communal Obligations: Romans 14:1–15:13

Christianity has a long history of making small things into big things. Oftentimes the most virulent debates and name-calling within Christianity have been between groups closely related to one another. Stories of churches dividing because of worship styles, the color of the carpet, or the option of either pews or individual chairs are legendary. Full reading and audio »

Matthew Week 10

The Son of Man Goes as It Is Written of Him: Matthew 26:1–27:66

The final sermon has been preached. Now we enter into the last section of Matthew’s gospel, describing Jesus’ passion and resurrection. Once again we can easily divide these chapters into three units: events before Jesus’ arrest, events that bring about his death, and the death itself. Full reading and audio »

Genesis/Exodus Week 10

“Unlikely Heroes”: Exodus 1:1–4:31

As Exodus begins we are immediately struck by something positive and something negative. The former is that Jacob’s/Israel’s descendants have grown exponentially: “the land was filled with them”. This is hardly happenstance. Full reading and audio »

Selections on New Creation Week 10

Socioeconomic Reconciliation: Luke 4:14–21; Isaiah 61:1–4

A few years ago a door-to-door salesman was in my neighborhood selling home security systems. As we chatted briefly on my front porch, he began his pitch. “I don’t mean to sound prejudiced,” he insisted, “but do you realize there’s a lot of Section 8 housing on this block?” His rationale was that the presence of many low-income families nearby should have alerted me to my need for home security. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 10

The Apocalypse of God’s Salvation Come to Earth (Revelation 19:11–20:15)

Speaking as a fan of professional baseball, I think one of the great traditions of the game takes place when the home team’s best relief pitcher enters from the bullpen in the final inning to close down the visiting team and secure the victory. Full reading and audio »

John Week 10

To See or Not to See: Do You Now See…and Believe? (John 20)

In 1998 two psychologists performed an experiment that is now famously referred to as “The Invisible Gorilla.” They asked students at Harvard University to watch a video as six people in different colored t-shirts passed a basketball back and forth. Full reading and audio »

Psalms Week 10

Bless the Lord, O My Soul: Psalms 103, 104, 105, 106

These four psalms — one titled (103: “Of David”), three untitled (104; 105; 106) — are soaring hymns of praise. Psalm 103 calls for praising God in the context of God’s graciousness and the forgiveness of sin. Psalm 104 lauds God for God’s having created everything that is. And Psalms 105 and 106 exalt God in the context of the magnalia dei — the mighty acts of God — on behalf of Israel, God’s elect people. Full reading and audio »

Acts Week 10

When God Drops Out of the Picture: Acts 21:18–26:32

I learned about the book of Acts in a cramped and damp classroom tucked in the corner of our church basement, next to a belching oil furnace. When we got to Acts in our Sunday school curriculum, we only skimmed chapters 21–26 — for good reason. The energy of Acts fizzles at this point. Full reading and audio »

Luke Week 10

“Passover and Cross”: Luke 22–23

Imagine being a leader who is about to leave the team you’ve been building. You’ve taught and shown, instructed and illustrated. You’ve sent team members out to gain experience by putting into practice what they’ve learned. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 10

The Servant of the LORD: Isaiah 49:1–52:12

Unfortunately for some, the term “missionary” suggests not an agent of liberation but an agent of oppression. Some view Christian missionaries as knowing and unknowing perpetrators of colonialism, racism, and imperialism. Full reading and audio »

1 Corinthians Week 10

Called to … Eternal Life: 1 Corinthians 15:1–58

Though our passage does not begin with the familiar “Now concerning,” Paul is very concerned about Corinthian beliefs on the resurrection. Resurrection belief is at the heart of this week’s guided reading. Reports evidently had reached Paul that some Corinthians claimed there was no resurrection of the dead (15:12).Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 10

Gideon — The “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Judge: Judges 6:1–12:15

So far in the book of Judges, the pattern or cycle has been clearly established: Israel did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD; God punished his people for their rebellion with the oppression of a foreign enemy; Israel cried out in fear, pain, and desperation; God raised up a “judge” to deliver his people from the invaders; and Israel experienced “rest” for a period of time. Full reading and audio »