2015

What He Sees

We are God’s chosen ones, even when our world does not choose us. Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love.
— Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

Luke 5:12-16

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Temple

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel’s consolation
To one who has eighty years and no to-morrow.
— T.S. Eliot, “A Song for Simeon”

Luke 2:22-38

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Pondering Heart

Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.
— John Donne

Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:18-19

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Shepherd's Field

Into the stable they straggled, poor and dirty,
hardly suitably dressed for polite society.
Had we been Joseph
we would have feared robbery.
Had we been Mary
we would have feared germs around our newborn.
Had we been God
these are not ones we would have chosen
to first come and see the Child.
After all, they showed a certain carelessness
about the rules of the church.
And yet, God-chosen, they came
to kneel and worship him
whom we would later call the Good Shepherd.
Perhaps we could brush up on our humbleness.
— Ann Weems, "Had We Been There"

Luke 2:8-20

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Loving the Word of Life

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life.

You see, the best thing about this Story is—it’s true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
— Sally Lloyd Jones

Acts 17:10-15

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Word is Preached

Dear Lord Jesus, even as Paul was eager to preach the gospel to believers in Rome, so I’m eager to preach it to my own heart today. There was a time when I thought the gospel was only for nonbelievers—simply the doorway for beginning a relationship with you. I now realize believers need the gospel just as much as non-believers. From beginning to end, our salvation is entirely dependent upon the grace, truth, and power of the gospel. Indeed, there’s nothing more than the gospel, there’s just more of the gospel.
— Scotty Smith

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Word Equips

It is a matter of urgency that interest in our souls be matched by an interest in our Scriptures—and for the same reason: they, Scripture and souls, are the primary fields of operation of the Holy Spirit. An interest in souls divorced from an interest in Scripture leaves us without a text that shapes these souls. In the same way, an interest in Scripture divorced from an interest in souls leaves us without any material for the test to work on.
— Eugene Peterson

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Word Reveals

To be human is to love, and it is what we love that defines who we are… What distinguishes us is not whether we love, but what we love. At the heart of our being is a kind of ‘love pump’ that can never be turned off… [T]he effect of sin on our love pump is to knock it off kilter, misdirecting it and getting it aimed at the wrong things.
— James K. A. Smith

2 Timothy 3:1-9

Sunday, October 18, 2015

*Please note that due to a technical mix-up, the recording is missing the first few minutes, including the reading of the Scripture passage.