Tag Archives: wisdom

The Need to Subvert Power

subvert power

Epiphany of the Lord: Matthew 2:1-12

The account of the Magi has morphed over the years in its place within our Christmas celebration. Nativity scenes often include three kingly characters even though none of this is found in the story. This simple account has taken on so much extra that it’s easy to skip over the significant character of Herod. He deceitfully pretends to want to join them in worship as he demands this group of magicians to, “tell me when you have found him”. They ultimately use their power to subvert Herod’s.

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Words Will Never Hurt Me?

forest fire

16th Sunday after Pentecost: James 3:1-12 

You know the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. This little chant from the last century was used primarily to mock bullied people for being “triggered”. Or at least that would be the modern translation of this rhyme. Different words, same mockery.

At first hearing, this chant makes sense, except words do hurt. Words can do real damage. The fact that James is spending time on this issue means this social dynamic isn’t new. Continue reading

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Rules Much?

task list

14th Sun after Pentecost: James 1:17-27

This letter sounds a little harsher and rules oriented than many of the other letters found in the New Testament. Sure, the other letters have rules, but they’re also relational and include encouragements. Before jumping into this text, it would be good to zoom out a bit and look at the style of the writing. James is categorized as wisdom literature, the same style found in the book of Proverbs. So, instead of having the tone of explaining the faith, James is urging this community to examine their ethics and to take action. Wisdom literature speaks in extremes, comparing good and bad, right and wrong. Continue reading

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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

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as yourself

Love the lord God

with all your heart, strength and understanding.

On these two commandments the whole law hangs,

he told the man

who asked which

law was


by Melisa Blankenship
Written in the form of Mirrored Tetractys

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