Archive for February 2009

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 58 — Matthew 13:1-58

February 27, 2009

sowerThe reading for today contains parables that talk specifically about the Kingdom of God. We’ve come to that point in the Big Story we’ve called Act 4: The Coming of the King — Kingdom Inaugurated, and soon we’ll be coming to Act 5: The King Sends His Church into the World — the Kingdom Advances.

So where is it? (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Days 56 & 57 Matthew 5-7

February 26, 2009

housesandWhat a phenomenal turnout we had last night for the potluck and Ash Wednesday Service! Our time together was quite moving for me. Some of you have asked me about what happened at the end of the service. Mario, a young man I mentored at Van Corlaer last year, called to me near the end of our worship as I was heading toward the music team area, “Mr. Rich, you didn’t receive any ashes.” (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 55 — Matthew 3:13-4:17

February 24, 2009

jesusjohnbaptismSo it begins. The reign and ministry of Jesus is inaugurated with his being baptized. This sets the tone for his whole ministry. It also explains what Jesus is about to do. He is going to “fulfill all righteousness.” When he says “all,” he means all. Not just his own righteousness, but all righteousness. He is going to fulfill all of humanity’s righteousness and story. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 54 — Luke 3:1-20

February 23, 2009

johnbaptistIt’s common for Christians to emphasize the difference between the old and new covenants, between the Old Testament and New Testament, between Christianity and Judaism, and even the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. The New Testament itself emphasizes continuity at least as much as discontinuity when talking about the relationship between the old and the new. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Days 51 & 52 — Luke 1:1-2:40

February 21, 2009

jesusthroneLuke’s gospel is addressed to a man by the name of Theophilus. The fact that Theophilus means “lover of God” may suggest that Luke is referring to Christians in general rather than a particular person. If this is the name of an individual, then his being called “most excellent Theophilus” suggests that he was a person of significant status in the Roman world. (more…)


February 20, 2009

newtestamentI’m not going to say very much about today’s reading (John 1:1-18) because I’m going to preach on it this Sunday. But I do want to say something about our journey this far and what it’s taught us about the Bible. (more…)

Essential 100 Challenge: Day 50 — Malachi 1:1-4:6

February 19, 2009

self-pityToday we come to the end of our Old Testament readings. It’s been quite a journey so far, hasn’t it? I find this last book of the Old Testament fascinating. Basically the Old Testament ends with a lover’s spat. (more…)