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East of Eden

This one is very much out of order.  But Christmas is upon me and life is a little crazy.  Nonetheless, here is an all new entry for this phrase from Genesis 4:16… Humanity is homesick.  We feel restless, estranged, ‘out of place.’  But this is very odd!  Where else should we be?  Where else have […]

Let this cup pass from me

It was the original poisoned chalice.  Just minutes after pouring wine into a cup of blessing, Jesus prays to His Abba, Father regarding a very different cup: “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him […]

Turning water into wine

Here is a phrase, like “David and Goliath” or “the writing is on the wall“, that doesn’t strictly occur in the Bible.  Instead it arises as a short-hand to describe a famous story. This story is from John 2:1-11.  It’s the first of Jesus’ miracles as John records them.  And according to verse 11, by […]

Behold the Lamb of God

John the Baptist was a wild and holy prophet whose whole mission in life was to prepare the way for the LORD Jesus.  John was prophesied in the Old Testament as one who would cry out in the wilderness and introduce Jesus to the world.  (Isaiah 40:3ff; Malachi 3:1)  And when his big moment came […]

Woe is me

What does a spiritual experience look like?  Warm feelings?  Groovy vibes?  Not if you ask Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter 6 the prophet has the ultimate spiritual experience.  He meets the LORD: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train [i.e. […]

White as snow

“She’s pure as New York snow” says the song.  That’s to say – not pure at all.  New York snow is quickly sullied by the city’s grit and grime.  But, for the first hour or so, that white blanket covers over a multitude of sins. Isaiah the prophet knew a people whose spiritual condition was […]


We don’t like hearing about “scapegoating”.  It sounds like bullying.  A group picks on a weakling, identifies all its maladies with this one individual and punishes the scapegoat for the sins of the community. That’s horrible. But it’s horrible because of the power relationship.  The strong sacrifice the weak. The original scapegoat was modelling something […]


Can the young girl atone for her mistake? Can the sportsman atone for his blunder?  Can the husband atone for his callous remark? If we answer ‘yes’ it’s usually an answer about the guilty party’s need to make amends.  But the bible has a fresh angle on the atonement question. In fact the bible gave […]


If a ploughman’s ox refuses to turn the way he wants, he calls the obstinate beast “stiff-necked.”  And nine times in the bible, that’s what the LORD calls His people.  The first occasion is in Exodus 32: “I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that […]

A Test of Faith

What is the bible? Sometimes Christians are the worst at answering that question.  Many will reply: “The Maker’s Instruction Manual.”  Or “God’s Road Map.”  Most often religious folk will see it as, essentially, a moral guidebook for right living.  But if ever there was a story to explode that misconception it’s this one.  Abraham is […]