Back by popular demand, this Preacher’s Roundtable led by David Schmitt discusses preaching Mark in year B of the three-year lectionary. Part 1 (of 2) looks at preaching Mark from Advent through Easter
By Paul Philp The divine court comes to order in Daniel’s vision within this text. Daniel first beholds the thrones being placed and the Ancient of Days taking his seat upon his throne. The description Daniel provides of the Ancient of Days emphasizes his holiness (hair like pure wool), and images which evoke images of ..
By Leopoldo Sanchez In his struggle against the pneumatomachians, who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit by reducing his nature to that of a ministering spirit or angel, St. Basil (c. 329–379) highlights that good angels are “holy” only because the Holy Spirit, who is God, has made them so. The Holy Spirit uses ..
By Rick Marrs The kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been in spiritual decline for two centuries. Starting with Solomon’s syncretism (1 Kgs 11) and the division of the kingdom (1 Kgs 12), Israel was ruled by a whole series of kings who worshipped impotent idols. Even one of the LORD’s prophets who confronted a ..
By Joel Biermann Opportunities to preach on the Apocalypse are rare enough, but when presented with a text as powerful and beautiful as this, one should not pass it up. Not only is the imagery rich and vivid, but the gospel impact of the text is overwhelming. Deftly employing potent rhetorical tools, the narrative of ..
By Jeffrey Kloha Christ Alone Three angels (14:6, 8, 9). Three announcements of judgment. And, at the end of the chapter, the sickle is put to the grapevines, the great winepress of God overflows, and the blood of the condemned flows for 1600 stadia. Not a text that one would typically use for a lesson ..
By Jeffrey Gibbs Textual Notes (using English Bible versification) One of the challenging issues in translation occurs in verse 10, the first verse of the appointed reading. The second line reads, literally, “And whoever loves abundance, not revenue (or income)—also this is vanity.” James Bollhagen suggests that since the particle לֹא normally negates a verb, ..
By Reed Lessing Historical Context Early in his rule Jeroboam ben Joash (793–753 BC) changed the political map of Israel. Through military conquests the territories east of the Jordan were recovered and annexed (Am 6:13), the northern border was extended to Lebo-Hamath, and the southern border was enlarged all the way to the Dead Sea ..
By Michael J. Redeker There are many things that are basic in life. The basics are needed for a person to build on. Learning the ABCs is basic for education. Learning to boil water is a basic for culinary skills. And the great coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, brought his team back ..
By David Schmitt This narrative selection from Israel’s wilderness wanderings captures a gracious transformation. The story begins in poverty, but ends in abundance. It begins in memory, but ends in hope. It begins in physical need, but ends in spiritual gifts. This gracious transformation occurs when God speaks and Israel hears his words for them ..
By Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. You Can Kill the Prophet, but You Can’t Kill the Message The text gives a gloomy picture of what happens to God’s prophets. Through Jeremiah, Yahweh has convicted Judah for breaking the covenant he made with their forefathers by turning to false idols and disobeying his word. The response? Men ..
By Travis J. Scholl Allow me a roundabout way to this text from Isaiah. Because I find today’s epistle lesson (James 3:1–12) to be a deeply incriminating word, especially to the preacher who, as Frederick Buechner so evocatively describes him, pulls the little cord that turns on the lectern light and deals out his note ..
By Dale A. Meyer Is this a great time to be the church? Do you have joy in your pastoral ministry? Do the baptized in your congregation show cheerful confidence in their Christian faith? Isaiah 35:4–7a, the first lesson for September 9, gives us a platform to be “helpers of joy” (2 Cor 1:24). You ..
By Thomas Manteufel What does the Old Testament portrayal of Israel have to do with us followers of Jesus Christ? This question may well occur to hearers of this and similar Old Testament lessons. The fact is that when God through Moses addresses Old Testament Israel, he also speaks to us. By way of analogy ..
By Arthur F. Graudin Textual Considerations The text—God’s word to his people through the prophet Isaiah—contains a number of key words that point to significant concepts in Israel’s history. The Hebrew word יצר (v. 16) is used in our text to refer to the activity of a potter. In Genesis 2:7 the verb describes the ..
By Kyle Castens The Choice is His There is nothing more non-descript than a plain white Styrofoam takeout container. As it sat on our counter, it went unnoticed. My wife had to bring it to the attention of our sons. They opened the lid and found something unexpected: desserts! Cookies and brownies, big and small. ..