Tag Archives: mercy

The Rich and the Poor

rich and poor

Jesus delivers “blessings and woes” to the rich and the poor in Luke 6:20-26. The woes are for the rich. Jesus didn’t give a nod to the rich people who were merely hard workers or well-meaning. He didn’t take the time to differentiate between those who were abusing their privileges or not.

Continue reading
Share:
Posted in Reflections. Tagged with , , , , , , .

Rejoice in Answered Prayer

answered prayers

4th Sunday of Advent: Luke 1:39-55

Luke records part of the visit between Mary and Elizabeth including Mary’s song. There are many themes in this text. Here I’m looking at the extraordinary experience they share in their pregnancy. Perhaps this was answered prayer for Elizabeth, whereas for Mary it was more of a surprise. God saw them both. They were given the great responsibility to raise a child who would make a difference.

Continue reading
Share:
Posted in Devotions. Tagged with , , , , , .

Jesus, Have Mercy on Me!

Have mercy!

22nd Sunday after Pentecost: Mark 10:46-52

The sad truth is, often you have to be your own advocate. Even when people can see the issue you’re facing, even when they can see the turmoil you’re in, they still might not care. The good news is, we can all approach God with our need. As I wrote in Approach the Throne of Grace with Boldness, God welcomes us. People might not take the time to know our struggle, and some people, once they know, might not care. Sometimes, as we see in this story, the powerful try to silence those in need.

Continue reading
Share:
Posted in Devotions. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Approach the Throne of Grace with Boldness

grace

20th Sunday after Pentecost; Hebrews 4:12-16

This book is aptly named Hebrews because it draws comparisons between this new life of following Jesus and the faith of the ancient Hebrews. This chapter recalls the exodus where Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. It talks about those who walked in the wilderness on their way to the promised land. They didn’t all make it. We know the exodus story is a story of grace, but it seems grace wasn’t part of everyone’s story. Some were killed and some died before they crossed over to the promised land. Some turned away from God, some made up their own rules, and some doubted—those are the people who didn’t enter God’s rest. Continue reading

Share:
Posted in Devotions. Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Defender of the Poor

15th Sunday after Pentecost: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23

This lectionary selection pulls these three proverb “couplets” that all relate to how we treat the poor. In fact, all of the lectionary readings for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost include the theme of caring for the poor or standing up for the oppressed. This is one of my favorite themes found in the Bible. While following God doesn’t align with any political party, Scripture is clear that God cares about the poor and the oppressed. How we care for the poor in our context may vary, but we should care. We should take the time to consider how to use whatever power we have to help those with less power. Continue reading

Share:
Posted in Devotions. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Solomon’s Encounter

12th Sun after Pentecost: 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

King Solomon was rich, wise, and he had many wives (in that era this was another form of riches). His reign was successful and Solomon’s Temple is the temple that future generations aspired to re-create. So it would be natural to skim past these verses as the point when all of this greatness began. It could be easy to miss the way in which Solomon struggled to “find himself” like we all do.

Up until this point his father, David, was the second king Israel had and David was the greatest. He was victorious in war, the people loved him, and he rose to greatness from humble beginnings. It was a rags to riches story and here that story ends. Solomon was chosen to be the next king. He probably felt like he was living under a very large, successful shadow. David was “a man after God’s own heart”—those are big shoes to fill. Continue reading

Share:
Posted in Devotions. Tagged with , , , , , .