The life situation of the reader provides a lens through which a text is read. Or, to change the metaphor, the life situation provides the magnet, which draws from a text whatever most clearly addresses the reader. For the same reader the same text may, under different circumstances, console or correct or convict or enlighten or inspire.
Notice the size of this psalm: it moves from the revelation of God in the heavens to the revelation of God in scripture to the mysterious working of God’s word in the believer.
It is difficult to listen to a text when there are other texts in the room talking about the same subject matter, often in ways more elaborate and more familiar. Mark is the text before us, but Matthew, Luke and John are also in the room. Each has a right to be heard.
Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten journey to Jerusalem. It is best not to journey alone.
This is not a metaphorical desert. Left alone here at high noon, Jesus could die without water.
The Tempter will return again and again. But we are never left alone.
Portrayed as a cowardly dolt, Nicodemus is usually spotted skulking about under cover of darkness.