Putting Ourselves In The Position Of Power

We’ve all had the experience of being out of position—the wrong lane in congested traffic, in the checkout line behind someone whose gift card has brought the system down, or in a job that doesn’t match our skill set. It’s not a good place to be and we try to get out as quickly asContinue reading “Putting Ourselves In The Position Of Power”

Seeing Ourselves Correctly

It wouldn’t be impossible to feel compassion for Haman (he was, after all, someone’s son), but you’d have to work at it. The portrait painted of him in Esther is of someone who long ago said goodbye to any attempt to be a decent human being. In place of that is a dark, foreboding, destructiveContinue reading “Seeing Ourselves Correctly”

The Heavy Heart Of Hate

While we might be challenged in several ways to understand and appreciate the significant differences between Esther’s world in the 5th century BC and ours today, Haman presents no such problem. That’s because unfortunately, there’s nothing new or novel about hate. When I speak of hate, I’m not referring to the label some are soContinue reading “The Heavy Heart Of Hate”

Less Than Paradise

The Book of Esther is a head turner. It’s about a Jewish woman (Esther), who parlays a place in the king’s harem into becoming queen of Persia. And oh yes, her cousin (Mordecai—who is her surrogate father), encourages and helps her to accomplish this. Sounds like the latest from Netflix or Hulu, doesn’t it? ButContinue reading “Less Than Paradise”

Hello August

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to BethlehemContinue reading “Hello August”

Shine Jesus Shine!

The background of Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world is the Feast of the Tabernacles (John 7:2,37; Leviticus 23:33-43). During this feast, not only did the Israelites live in booths/shelters for seven days as commanded, but the Levites built huge menorahs which they placed in the temple courtyard to illuminate the eveningContinue reading “Shine Jesus Shine!”

The “No” That Is A “Yes!”

In Titus 2:11-14, Paul is discussing the grace of God that has appeared and offers salvation to all. Of course, it has “appeared” in the person and work of Jesus Christ. His appearance changed history, it split time in two, and it continues to transform the world one person at a time. But not onlyContinue reading “The “No” That Is A “Yes!””