Bible: High ideals for God’s people

May 7, 2018 by

Blow the trumpet! The content of these 12 verses in Leviticus 25 is plain. Instructions from Yahweh to Moses presuppose that the Israelites are now living in the Promised Land. Each household has been allotted...

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Bible: Different ways, reasons to give

Apr 23, 2018 by

Here we are, ex-slaves from Egypt, camped around Mount Sinai, on the top of which Moses and God regularly converse. What’s the next move? As it turns out, a building project. Moses presents an extremely...

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Bible: An open door in the sky

Apr 9, 2018 by

After three lessons celebrating Jesus’ resurrection to everlasting life, the next two take us directly into heaven itself — complete with a throne, crowns, jewels and plenty of fireworks. The problem is,...

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Bible: Breakfast with the risen Christ

Mar 26, 2018 by

I wish our Uniform Texts had started with Luke 23:55. In both the Greek New Testament and the NRSV, Luke 24:1 begins with “But . . . they came to the tomb.” What happened before the “but,” and who is...

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Bible: Glory of God, and the priest-king

Mar 12, 2018 by

Last week, we readers were part of the crowd of Israelites at the original Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the dedication of the first temple. The chapters leading up to this moment are filled with descriptions...

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Bible: Child sacrifice, then and now

Feb 26, 2018 by

Lessons for our spring quarter are titled “Acknowledging God,” a broad theme that includes both familiar and lesser-known texts. The subtitle for our March lessons is “Follow in My Ways,” and includes...

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Opinion: Scripture, opinion, experience

Apr 24, 2017 by

I read with interest Harold N. Miller’s thoughtful opinion piece, “Scripture Overrules Experience” (March 27). I support his statement that an argument from experience alone on the LGBT issue “is not...

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Bible: Freedom that demands more than law

Feb 13, 2017 by

In our previous lessons, Lawyer Paul presented his case in a courtroom against the position that male Gentiles must be circumcised in order to join male Jews as full members of the New Community in Christ....

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Bible: Problems birthing a new community

Jan 30, 2017 by

Our February lessons are a long way from delighting in God’s creation through the Psalms, as we did last month. Centuries have gone by, and instead of “fire, hail, snow and frost,” we now confront parts...

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Bible: Delight in God’s handiwork

Jan 16, 2017 by

“Praise the Lord, sun and moon and all you shining stars!” Psalms 104 and 148 are different from the three psalms we have studied earlier in that they are entirely focused on the natural world, on...

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Bible: Overflowing pastures, joyful hills

Jan 2, 2017 by

No doubt some Sunday school attenders will brave ice or snow in order to discuss Psalm 65, where “valleys deck themselves with grain”! This should remind us that other Christians reading this lesson may be...

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Bible: Celebrate creation and Creator

Dec 19, 2016 by

“Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy!” Our texts for the five Sundays in January are psalms. The one theme that holds these five psalms together is praise for some aspect of creation —...

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Bible: Saviors and forerunners

Dec 5, 2016 by

The story announcing the birth of John the Baptist begins in Luke 1:5. Both Zechariah the priest and his wife, Elizabeth, lived “blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.”...

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Bible: Two blessed mothers in Israel

Nov 21, 2016 by

What was Mary thinking, on what seemed like an ordinary day as she went about her household duties feeding the animals or spinning wool? How should a girl in everyday clothes and a dirty apron relate to a...

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Opinion: Prof attests: gap is good

Nov 7, 2016 by and

Before I retired, I taught in the Biblical Studies department at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Each fall term, I was assigned two sections of a required course, Encountering the Bible. Each section had...

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Bible: Paul, the restless preacher

Nov 10, 2015 by

The next four cities Paul and his companions visit — Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth — are all in what is now Greece. As they push westward, Luke demonstrates the promise the risen Jesus made to...

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Scripture versus experience

Oct 26, 2015 by

Our next three lessons cover large developments in the Jerusalem church and beyond. In Acts 12 we find Peter in prison guarded by four squads of soldiers. King Herod Agrippa, after beheading the apostle James,...

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Peter’s vision shakes the foundation

Oct 12, 2015 by

While Saul is stowed away in his native Tarsus, the action moves back to the cities of Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea in Palestine, along the Mediterranean seacoast. Peter is now center-stage. He heals Aeneas, a...

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God’s power is not for sale

Sep 28, 2015 by

Stephen’s impassioned sermon from our last lesson incited such blood-lust in his listeners that he was immediately stoned to death. In praying for forgiveness for his killers, Stephen imitates Jesus on the...

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Whose side are you on?

Sep 14, 2015 by

As he writes about the early Jerusalem church, Luke holds our attention by alternating public and private events. The Sept. 13 lesson involved internal community organizing. This lesson takes us back to the...

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