The first disciples experienced Jesus’ resurrection not as some single triumphant fait accompli, but by fits and starts.
This is no voluntary association, no transactional contract. The sheep do not earn the shepherd or elect him.
The disciples are afraid, so they lock their doors. I do the same.
Psalm 51 does not let any of us off the hook—not the progressives, the evangelicals, or the feel-good agnostics.
When I was a child, I loved Palm Sunday because we got to act out the biblical version of a ticker-tape parade. Later I learned of the ephemeral quality of stardom and parades and decided that Palm Sunday and Passion Week belong together. As a pastor, I have accepted the dismal fact that most of our people skip Thursday, Friday and Saturday, slipping from parade pandemonium to Easter ecstasy with none of the suffering and pain.
Look, people are sinking under the waters. Here in this wilderness, people are perishing.
In the synoptic accounts of the cleansing of the temple, Jesus is being provocative. In John, he is provoked.
For the people in Noah’s day, there was no scientific warning of a natural disaster, just a crazy man building an ark.
Jesus and Peter care about each other enough to call each other out.
Why does Elijah try to spare Elisha? Does he simply prefer to die alone?
True prophets have a different bottom line than false ones, but that doesn’t make them any easier to recognize.