First Glance: Mark 15:16-16:8

But go tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. (Mark 16:7) It wasn’t until last night, sitting around a table studying this passage with fellow disciples of Jesus, that I noticed the angel’s phrase in this verse. ‘Go tell…

3 Reasons I Am Not Worried About Millennials

The North American church is worried about its young people. As congregations age and membership declines, many churches are anxiously trying to reach those classified as un-churched, de-churched, or nones (‘no religious affiliation’). It seems every couple days, my social media outlets become filled with ‘5 more reasons millennials are leaving the church’ or ‘6…

First Glance: Mark 14:53-15:15

He [Peter] began to call down curses and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you are talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.…

Review: My Bright Abyss

Though labeled as a memoir, Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer is not chronological jaunt through his life. Instead, as the subtitle indicates, it is a series of loosely connected meditations. He explores themes such as life, joy, faith, love, and Christ’s presence as well as death, suffering, disbelief, meaninglessness, and…

First Glance: Mark 14:32-52

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi,” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. (Mark 14:44-46) Sometimes I try to think back to what it felt like…

First Glance: Mark 14:1-11

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. (Mark 14:3) When Jesus remarked on this woman’s action, he said, “she has…

Review: Rejoicing in Lament

J. Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer & Life in Christ. Brazos Press, 2015. It is a rare book that can hover between the academic and the personal in a way that enriches both realms. After he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 39, J. Todd Billings’ life took a surprising…

First Glance: Mark 12:13-34

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. (Mark 12:13) I think it’s fair to say that when I first looked at this week’s passage my response was, “This is hard. I don’t really understand what’s going on.” Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees, and Scribes all come to Jesus with…