Lectionary Meditations

Meditations on this week's lectionary readings from Pr. Eric Brown

Created: January 25th, 2017

"Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven" - A Meditation on Matthew 9:2

Ugh! Jesus, just get to the point! When people bring you a paralyzed guy, don't waste your time talking about a bunch of forgiveness stuff; get to the point and heal him!

"And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" - A Meditation on Matthew 22:39

Again! They did it again! Another Gospel lesson, and another question tossed out by people simply to test Jesus, simply to trap Jesus. Again!

"They were watching [Jesus] carefully." - A Meditation on Luke 14:1

It was a trap. A cruel and mean trap. They had invited Jesus to Sabbath dinner, not because they wanted Him to enjoy Himself, not because they wanted to spend time with Him, but to trap Him.

"Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still." - A Meditation on Luke 7:14

There are lots of different ways to think of or to describe what Jesus came to do. However, this text in Luke 7 gives us one of the most simple and beautiful ones imaginable. Jesus came to stop death in its tracks.

"No one can serve two masters... therefore I tell you." A Meditation on Matthew 6:24

I suppose there is a bit of truth there; it is good to give an offering, to give money away. It does help keep money from being an idol; you don't give an idol away. But it misses the point of what Jesus is talking about here and through the rest of the text.

"Rise and go your way; your faith has saved you." A Meditation on Luke 17:19

Ten lepers get healed, but only one comes back to praising God and thanking Jesus, and from there we have gotten thousands of finger wagging sermons telling us to be more thankful like the good leper.

"But he, desiring to justify himself..." A Meditation on Luke 10:29

He had asked a law question. He has asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. It was a silly question: you don't do much to inherit. Someone else dies and then they give you something; that's not really you doing something.

How Jesus Deals With You - A Meditation on Mark 7:33

The deaf man was probably utterly confused. He couldn't hear; couldn't talk either because he was mute. But the people had seen Jesus of Nazareth coming, so they bundled the deaf man up and brought him to Jesus.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified... - A Meditation on Luke 18:14

The Pharisee had much to be thankful for. Or maybe much that he could have been thankful for.

Would that you, even you, had known the things that make for peace - Meditation on Luke 19:42

So there is Jesus, riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday with crowds praising Him and shouting Hosanna. Yet, when He comes up to Jerusalem, He weeps.

The Unjust Steward - A Meditation on Luke 16:3

Although many translations now call the fellow in this story the “dishonest” manager, the old King James is more accurate when it calls him “unjust”.

Fruit Tree Theology - A Meditation on Matthew 7:21-23

A tree is known by it's fruit. If the tree has a bunch of apples on it, it's an apple tree. If there's a bunch of cherries, it's a cherry tree. And when Jesus tells us that a false profit will be known by our fruits, he gives this example.

Lord of Compassion - A Meditation on Mark 8:2

The second oldest trick that Satan has is making us think that God will only love us if we do good things. As the oldest trick is making us think we know better than God, this puts us in a world of hurt.

How's Your Righteousness? - A Meditation on Matthew 5:20

Imagine the best person you know. The person who is the nicest, kindness person around. Maybe the most holy or spiritual person you know.

Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord - A Meditation on Luke 5:8

Why was Peter so down and dour? He had just seen a miraculous catch of fish, one that broke nets. Shouldn't he be jumping up and down with joy?

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful - A Meditation on Luke 6:36

Sinful people like to turn the blessings God has given them into idols. It's sort of our sinful heart's go to thing to do. Consider the parable of the banquet. The master has offered one fantastic blessing – the banquet to end all banquets.

Visitation - A Meditation on Luke 1:39-56

The Magnificat, Mary's Song given when she visits Elizabeth, is utterly wonderful, and yet I wonder if sometimes it isn't misunderstood. I wonder if sometimes we don't view it through a veil of false pretense.

Turning Blessings into Idols

I'm guessing you probably want to be successful. End up with a big house, nice cars, all that sort of stuff. I'm guessing you probably don't want to end up a beggar.

Lazarus and the Rich Man

I'm guessing you probably want to be successful. End up with a big house, nice cars, all that sort of stuff. I'm guessing you probably don't want to end up a beggar.

Nicodemus the Failure

Nicodemus is a failure. Spiritually, at least. In the world, he was quite successful. He was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. He was well respected in society and thought to be wise.

Keeping the Word on Pentecost

So often today when we hear that word “keep” we simply replace it in our minds with “do” or “obey”. Which is a shame, because that puts the focus on our actions, when in reality the word “keep” points to something other than ourselves.

What Is A Christian's Joy?

Think for a moment of the joy and wonder and peace that comes from knowing that you are forgiven because Christ Jesus.  Think on the fact that your salvation is secured in Him.

What Are The Scriptures About?

While there is a lot of information in the Scriptures that is useful for many things – History, Art, Ethics – what are the Scriptures about?  What is their point?

Life in The New Testament Church

I have said these things to you that in Me you may have peace. This is how Jesus wraps up the lessons of John 15 and 16.

The Comforter

The Holy Spirit is called the Helper... or is it Advocate... or is it Comforter... or the Counselor. Well, what in the world is going on here?

Whoever Said You'd Be Happy? - A Meditation on John 16:22

Jesus never says that Christians will always be “happy”.  Quite the opposite!  Jesus tells the disciples that they will have sorrow, that in fact the world will rejoice over the things that cause them sorrow.

Just A Shepherd - A Meditation on John 10:11

Jesus being a shepherd is a familiar idea. It shows up all over the place in the scriptures, in some of the most familiar passages (the 23rd Psalm), or alluded to with some of the most famous people (King David was a shepherd).

Doubting Thomas

Oh great, it's the Sunday where we get to hear about “Doubting Thomas”.  That's how we label him, right?

Easter Confusion?

There was so much confusion.  Mary didn't know what was going on.  She runs to Peter and John for help; they don't know what's going on either.  Even when the angels ask her what's wrong, Mary's still confused.

My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?

Why?  It's a simple enough question to ask.  Why is Christ forsaken upon the Cross?  So that He doesn't forsake you.  As much as we might try to deny it or pretend it isn't real, sin has consequences.  The wages of sin is death. 

The World Doesn't Get It - A Meditation on Psalm 22

The world doesn’t understand the Cross.  The world sees the cross and simply mocks – He saved others, He could not save Himself.  The cross is seen as just a bitter, ironic end.

Your Father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day - A Meditation on John 8:56

Abraham was on his way to worship the Lord, on his way to church as it were.  But it was not necessarily a happy trip.  No, the Lord had required the life of Abraham's son, Isaac.

What Kind of Messiah Do We Want - A Meditation on John 6

Now this was the sort of Messiah the people wanted!  It was great.  Think of all that could happen if you have a King who could just hand out free food whenever you wanted.  The luxury, the ease that we could have!

Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word - A Meditation on Luke 11:14-28

The Finger of God that gives life and salvation has come upon you, even you who come up with foolish excuses to avoid this.

Even The Dogs - A Meditation on Matthew 15:21-28

Yes, Lord – I am a sinner and worthy of nothing, but You are gracious and give me everything!

If You are the Son of God - A Meditation on Matthew 4:6

Satan knows perfectly well who Jesus is. He's not approaching Jesus trying to figure out who or what He is. Satan is operating with a flawed view of what it means to be God.

None of These Things - A Meditation on Luke 18:34

Jesus Christ is not your fairy godmother. He's not a genie in a bottle or a falling star to wish upon. He's not in the business of wish fulfillment.

We Don't Know How God Will Use His Word - A Meditation on Luke 8:4-15

Farmers must cringe when they hear what we normally call the Parable of the Sower.  Seed is rather expensive (at least if you buy good seed), and in this parable so much seed gets seemingly wasted.

God Gives What He Promises - A Meditation on Matthew 20:1-16

God gives what He promises, and He gives generously. That's the major theme of the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

How Do You See the World? - Meditation for the Transfiguration

How do you see the world? How do you view your life, your job, your friends and neighbors? There's a lot of different ways we can view all these things.

What Sort of Man Is This - Meditation for Epiphany 4

“What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?” The disciples were certainly impressed with Jesus. He had just stood up and rebuked the winds that were roaring on the Sea of Galilee... and they stopped. Things went still. And so they ask, “What sort of man is Jesus?”

What Sort of People Do We Love and Hate (Epiphany 3)

So, what sort of people do you fear and hate? Seriously! If you close your eyes and think of a “bad guy”, what sort of prejudiced thoughts float to the foreground? It's just one of the things we sinful folks do: categorize and vilify people. Sin rears its ugly head once again.