Jeremiah Week 6

Enacted Judgment

In this section, Jeremiah moves beyond speaking words from the LORD to enacting messages from God. These examples present the same message that Jeremiah has proclaimed from the outset. Full reading and audio »

Selections From the Prophets Week 6

Being Loved By God

In his book To Know as We Are Known, Parker Palmer addresses the challenge of building community in this day and age. Many people will come to churches and schools seeking truth as the basis for why and how a community forms and is sustained. Full reading and audio »

Hebrews Week 6

Practice Perfection: Hebrews 5:11–6:20

The very idea that the believer could possibly lose her residence in God’s household — that anything we do is greater than the grace God gives — is offensive to some Christians. However we interpret this hard text, it teaches us that thoughtful Christians who bet on eternal life cannot be nonchalant about their future destiny, as though God does all of salvation’s heavy lifting. Full reading and audio »

Mark Week 6

The Cross of Discipleship: Mark 8:22–10:52

This week we reach the halfway point of Mark’s gospel. However, Mark sets up the narrative so that it is more like a halfway pivot than a halfway point: this section looks backward to Jesus’ ministry through Galilee, and forward, as we travel to Jerusalem. Full reading and audio »

1 & 2 Samuel Week 6

David on the Run: 1 Samuel 21–30

David’s story has had a number of dramatic highs and lows up to this point: He is anointed, glorified, and loved, but also threatened to the point where he has to flee. Full reading and audio »

Selections From Israel's Story Week 6

Strange Fire: Leviticus 10

The name “Leviticus” is the title of this book in the Septuagint, meaning in Greek, “of the Levites.” The Levites, of course, are the tribe that makes up the priests, so that name points to the nature of this biblical book as a book for the priests and priestly matters. Full reading and audio »

Romans Week 6

Law and Spirit: Romans 7–8

It is part of human nature to resist when somebody says something can’t be done, right? Countless personal stories exist of people who defy the odds because they were motivated by people telling them they couldn’t do something. Full reading and audio »

Matthew Week 6

The Formation of the Church: Matthew 14:1–17:13

In today’s reading, the division of Israel caused by the rejection of Jesus’ ministry leads to the emergence of a new, messianic community of Israel called “church.” Accordingly, you’ll notice that Peter starts to assume leadership; though he was listed first among the disciples at 10:2, it isn’t until now that he takes the stage as the “rock” upon which Jesus will build his church. Full reading and audio »

Genesis/Exodus Week 6

“Exclusive Election and Inclusive Purpose”: Genesis 12:1–24:67

We knew a little about Abram and Sarai previously (11:26, 31). But there is no indication that their travels had a religious dimension. That changes when God commands Abram to leave his country, his relatives, and his father’s house to go to a land to be identified later (12:1). Full reading and audio »

Selections on New Creation Week 6

Church in the New Creation: Ephesians 1–4

Everyone needs community. We all need each other if we are to flourish as people. Full reading

Revelation Week 6

The Seventh Seal: A Trumpet Fanfare to the Victory of God (Revelation 8:2–11:19)

We bought our first home in Texas, where we first noticed blackened lawns. The practice of burning Bermuda grass in the spring is still carried on by those who notice that lush lawns result in the summer. Full reading and audio »

John Week 6

Death, Mission and Discipleship: It’s All in the Details: John 11:1–12:50

The writer Anton Chekhov articulated a principle of storytelling that essentially claims that all details matter. He said (in various forms), “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” Full reading and audio »

Psalms Week 6

Reciting, Singing, and Ritualizing God’s Story: Psalms 78 and 136

The Christian Bible in general and the Old Testament in particular are dominated by narrative. In fact, the narrative part of Scripture is foundational in that it contains the story describing the self-disclosure of God through the elect community Israel and in Israel’s messiah/Christ: Jesus of Nazareth, the Risen and Exalted Lord. Full reading and audio »

James Week 6

James as the Introduction to the Catholic Epistle Collection

We have completed our tour of the Letter of James. But our work isn’t finished yet! Indeed, this letter did not come down to us in isolation, but was delivered as part of a larger package — a whole Scripture — within which James was intentionally placed in order to perform a particular role. Full reading and audio »

Week 6 Wisdom Literature

Against Prudentialism — The Problem of Evil (Psalms 37 and 73; Job 38:1–41:34)

We come today to the turning point in our course. For the past four weeks we’ve been looking at various aspects of “wisdom orthodoxy.” Full reading and audio »

Acts Week 6

On Second Thought: Acts 10–12

What, I should teach you Yiddish? You want I should call God a traffic cop instead? Oy veh! What should I care anyway? Just so you know what God does in the book of Acts. That’s all I care. Full reading and audio »

Luke Week 6

“Beginning the Journey to Jerusalem”: Luke 9:51–12:59

Remember heading to the airport or taking road trips to visit family and friends, travel for business, or go on vacation? What if all we had was a horse, a donkey, or, more likely in Bible times, just our own two feet? Full reading and audio »

Isaiah Week 6

Isaiah as Apocalypse: Isaiah 21:1–27:13

One theologian has said that apocalyptic is the mother of all Christian theology. Really? Shouldn’t Christology (the doctrine of Christ) or soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) be the mother of all Christian theology? Full reading and audio »

1 Corinthians Week 6

Called to . . . Bloom Where We Are Planted: 1 Corinthians 7:1–40

This week’s Lectio passage marks a substantial shift in Paul’s letter. The first six chapters reflect Paul’s agenda for the Corinthian believers, set by the report from Chloe’s people. Full reading and audio »

Joshua/Judges Week 6

Rahab I Loved, Achan I Hated: Joshua 7:1–12:24

When I became a graduate student in northern England, my wife and I moved into an apartment building owned by the university that was dedicated especially to international families. Full reading and audio »