Jeremiah Week 5

The Cost of Discipleship

This passage begins with Jeremiah questioning his own vocation. Jeremiah does not question whether he has been called by God. Instead, Jeremiah questions whether the message he carries is worth the hostility he must face as a result of that message. Full reading and audio »

Selections From the Prophets Week 5

A Famine for the Word of the Lord: Amos 8

In 1928, a young painter in Brussels struggled with the post-World War I world he saw around him. As Europe tried to regain a sense of identity and purpose, it became popular for politicians to issue statements of idealism … Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 5

The Lead Pastor of a Wilderness Congregation: Hebrews 4:14–5:10

Empathy is the capacity to understand and identify with the experiences of another. Whether this is a trait that evolved as a critical attribute of human nature, as some neurobiologists contend, or a learned behavior developed during our formation, empathy is a necessary element for cultivating community. Full reading and audio »

Mark Week 5

Expanding Ministry, Growing Opposition: Mark 6:6b–8:21

For Jews in the first century, there was one primary story that defined their identity and their relationship with God. This story was the narrative of Israel’s exodus from Egypt (Exodus 1–15). Full reading and audio »

1 & 2 Samuel Week 5

David and Saul’s Family: 1 Samuel 18–20

The previous Lectio noted how fitting it is that David’s name means “beloved,” and this week’s selection of text will demonstrate how David is loved by Saul’s children, Jonathan and Michal. Full reading and audio »

Selections From Israel's Story Week 5

A Merciful and Gracious God: Exodus 33–34

This week’s Lectio continues the story from the previous week and the previous chapter, and is connected in many ways: where Chapter 32 was about Israel breaking the covenant with God, Chapters 33–34 are about God remaking the covenant with Israel. Full reading and audio »

Romans Week 5

Justification and Sanctification: Romans 5–6

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So states Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This young lady was waxing philosophical in that she could not understand how the names of her and her lover’s families could cause such strife when really what mattered was not people’s names but their character, who they are. Full reading and audio »

Matthew Week 5

Responses to the Kingdom: Matthew 11:2–13:53

Last week we saw that the deeds of Jesus elicited a variety of responses, and, in his subsequent teaching, Jesus warned his followers that rejection would be the norm. Our readings for this week go on to explore that rejection more closely. Full reading and audio »

Genesis/Exodus Week 5

“The Flood and Its Aftermath”: Genesis 7:1–11:32

As threatened, God destroys the earth with a flood. With the exception of those aboard the divinely commissioned boat, the destruction is near total. Full reading and audio »

Selections on New Creation Week 5

Missiology in the New Creation: John 20:1–23

For spring break I used to take my youth group to Tijuana to build houses. Students loved going on these “mission trips,” often saying that they were special times to get away to a different environment where they could bond with friends and be spiritually invigorated. Full reading and audio »

Revelation Week 5

The Great Tribulation of the Last Days (Revelation 6:1–8:1)

We need to return for a moment to John’s sighting of the scroll, which the Almighty One held in his right hand. This scene captures our attention because of the obvious importance of the secrets written down on God’s scroll: when no one is found worthy to break open the seals that strap the scroll shut, the entire creation, including the prophet, weeps and mourns for fear they will never know the Creator’s plan to restore creation. Full reading and audio »

John Week 5

From Sight to (Un)Belief: The Illuminating, Blinding Light: John 7:53–10:42

The key statement of these chapters in the Gospel of John is simply this:
“I am the light of the world.” Full reading and audio »

Psalms Week 5

Confession, Repentance, Absolution: Getting Right with God: Psalms 25; 32; 36; 38; 51

Psalms that treat the topics of sin, confession, repentance, and forgiveness have at least one thing in common: They are all rooted in the radical grace of God. Such psalms are instructive for Christians, especially in light of erroneous and uninformed views about confession, repentance, and forgiveness in the Old Testament. Full reading and audio »

James Week 5

The Wise Community: James 4:11–5:20

This week’s reading covers the final two major sections of the letter (James 4:11–5:6 and 5:7–18) and its epilogue (5:19–20). We know to break it down in this way because of James’ repeated use of the direct address, “My brothers and sisters”: We see it at 4:11, 5:7, and 5:19, marking off three final coherent “movements.” Full reading and audio »

Week 5 Wisdom Literature

An International Orientation: Proverbs 22:17–24:22; 30:1–33; 31:1–9

In the past three weeks we’ve examined the prudential motive that drives the search for wisdom, the optimistic attitude that undergirds that search, and the empirical method by means of which it proceeds. Full reading and audio »

Acts Week 5

God on the Go: Acts 8–9

After Stephen’s martyrdom, everything changes for the church in Jerusalem. On the day of Stephen’s death, “a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria”. Full reading and audio »

Luke Week 5

“Miracles, Mission, Messiah”: Luke 7:1–9:50

In Malawi, Africa, I was in the back seat of a car headed to the capital toward nightfall. Westerners try not to be on the road after dark. Our vehicle was almost out of gas. A number of petrol stations, already checked, had no fuel because of a gasoline shortage in Malawi. Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 5

Yahweh as Lord of the Nations: Isaiah 13:1–20:6

When one thinks of Israel’s status as God’s chosen nation, one might assume that Israel was to have little or no interaction with foreign nations, particularly when Israel was called to be holy — that is, set apart. Yet this is not the case. Full reading and audio »

1 Corinthians Week 5

Called to Be … an Accountable Community: 1 Corinthians 5:1–6:20

In this week’s passage, Paul shifts his focus from factions that threatened the Corinthian church to three additional destructive behaviors within the Corinthian church. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 5

And the Walls Came a Tumblin’ Down: Joshua 5:1–6:27

The sixth chapter of the book of Joshua may be the most well known chapter of the Bible among Americans in general. When I was in choir in high school, we sang Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, the rich and sonorous black spiritual. Martin Luther King Jr. hailed this song as his favorite and drew inspiration in his social struggles from the biblical message. Full reading and audio »