Everything Will Fall

On December 1st I woke from a dream that left me unsettled.  It was a long rambling dream, but I knew the end was from the Lord.  In the dream, I was talking with a friend who pastors a church.  He was telling me the church suddenly fell apart and closed.  He said, “Everything seemed…

Embalmed

After Jacob dies, he is embalmed (Gen. 50:2-3).  Embalming was an Egyptian practice and betrays something of the world’s mindset. Embalming was and is meant to preserve the dead person.  There have been various methods throughout history but the basic idea is the same: the dead flesh is treated with substances that slow decay.  Modern…

Circulation

First Thessalonians three finds Paul relieved that the Thessalonians are continuing to believe Jesus despite persecution: “For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8).  This is an expression of happiness but also much more. Paul has written much about the Thessalonians’ participation in the sufferings of Jesus, as well…

He Is Risen in Us

The following appeared in our local paper last weekend. I adapted it from something I posted last fall *** What does it mean to witness Christ’s resurrection? We might wish we were present when Jesus rose from the dead. But would this make us witnesses of Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28 helps us consider these things….

Seeding and Seeing

I assure you : Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop (John 12:24). The other night, I was reading John 12:24 to my son. I was struck by the context. A few verses earlier, some Greeks come to Jesus’s…

Easter Wings—George Herbert

George Herbert (1593 – 1633) was a Welsh poet and Anglican priest. He is one of the “metaphysical poets,” whose ranks include John Donne. The metaphysical poets are so named because their poems often took up spiritual themes and meditations. Several of Herberts poems are favorites of mine. Below is his poem, “Easter Wings.” The…

No Harm?

Psalm 91 talks about living under God’s protection.  It details various dangers the believer will be kept from.  In sum, “Because you have made the LORD—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you” (Psalm 91:9-10). Similar sentiments are expressed in other verses.  Some take these verses at face value: if…

The Stranger Inside

Because there was famine in Canaan, Jacob sent 10 of his sons to Egypt, where he heard there was grain for sale (Gen. 42:2-3).  When Jacob’s sons came before Joseph, he recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him (Gen. 42:7-8). We have seen how Joseph’s life foreshadows Christ’s death and resurrection.  Joseph’s brothers hated him…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…

Too Strong for Me

He reached down from heaven and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17). I have been meditating on Psalm 18, especially the verses above.  There are a couple levels…