Genesis 2:15–17, 3:1–7; Matthew 4:1–11
I have lived in the U.S. for nearly three years now, and there is so much to love: the beauty and the grandeur of the landscape, the welcome and hospitality I’ve found in one city after another, and so many new friends.
But there is one thing I don’t love so much.
Exodus 24:12-18; 2 Peter 1: 16-21; Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus’ transfiguration is a mystery that defies a straightforward explanation. I find that instead of clarifying anything about his unique nature, it only adds more confusion.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Matthew 5:38-48
In my Century lectionary column for this week, I mention Scot McKnight’s description of the dual love commandment in Mark 12:28-33 (and synoptic parallels) as the “Jesus Creed”—which also happens to be the title of his popular book on the subject and the name of his blog.
My sense is that our lectionary readings from the Leviticus holiness code and the Sermon on the Mount are summae of the gospel.
I played competitive tennis as a teenager. At one point, a new player started working with my coach. He was a natural athlete—quick, agile, and well coordinated. I was impressed.
My coach was not. He said, “That kid will never be any good.”
Most of us do not take criticism well. We get defensive, make excuses, or blame others. Nor do we engage in much self reflection or acknowledgement of our personal failings.
A lot of churches have deleted the prayer of confession from their Sunday morning orders of worship because of complaints that “those prayers are too depressing,” or “those things don’t apply to me.”
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