8.4 Fill My Cup, Lord – John 20:19-29

Color_3Read John 20:19-29.  Today you read about the disciples gathering in an “undisclosed location” to avoid being seized by the Jewish authorities. Thomas is not with them when Jesus first appears, and when he hears the story of Jesus’ return he demands proof. Where in your life are you hiding in fear of someone else? Where do you need trust the witness of others that Jesus is alive? Are you ready to proclaim Jesus as “my Lord and my God?”

SOAP on Matthew 28:8 – Were You There …?

Colorcover_8Scripture: So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples (Matthew 28:8, NRSV).

Observe the Context: The women have come to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. The impending Sabbath had left unfinished the burial preparations on a Friday that is now called “Good.” A holy Sabbath of muttering under their breath, slamming fists against walls, hand-wringing, emptying tear ducts, and wailing crashed into this morning walk to the tomb. And now the tomb is empty … what does that mean? Could it mean? Does it mean? No wonder they ran with JOY and FEAR. Had our “were you there’s” turned into “did you hear?

Continue reading “SOAP on Matthew 28:8 – Were You There …?”

7.4 Fill My Cup, Lord

7_3Read Matthew chapter 28.  Resurrection! Jesus’ resurrection gives Christians hope for all times and all
places.  The Gospel promises us “It will get better, so much better.”  Eternal life with God waits for all who believe in Jesus Christ. Whatever circumstance has pinned you down today will be overcome.  Not even death could conquer Jesus.  Life really does go on.  Not just on this earth, but in heaven as well.  Our physical life here is but temporary in the grand scheme of God’s time.  Our troubles will be just a fleeting memory when we gather with all the saints and meet God face to face.  Resurrection really does happen.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

7.1 Fill My Cup, Lord

7Read Matthew chapter 25.  Tying these three parables together today is the theme that being ready for the Lord is not a “wait and see” approach; instead the correct action seems to be “wait on and serve.”  Are you using all you’ve been given to serve the least of these; or are you trifling away your time and talent?  How could you re-organize your time to be most pleasing to God?

SOAP on Matthew 21:5 – Who Wants to Be a Donkey?

Colorcover_7Scripture:  The prophets words, "Tell the daughter of
Zion, ‘Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a
donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey’"
were fulfilled in Jesus (Matthew 21:5, NRSV).

Observe the Context: Today’s lesson lies in the middle of Jesus’ celebratory entrance into Jerusalem. Suddenly the once hostile crowds seem to be supportive of Jesus. The people are excited about his presence and strip palm leaves to lay at Jesus’ path and stretch their garments across the road.

Their shouts while emphatic and boisterous still reveal a misconception about the identity of the promised Messiah.  Jesus is called "Son of David," "the one who comes
in the name of the Lord," and "prophet." By citing the prophesy of Zechariah 9:9, Matthew brings the people’s Messianic expectations into this dramatic scene.

Against the backdrop of shouted hosannas, Matthew emphasizes a discordant note in the  triumphant entry. Jesus instructs two disciples to find a very
particular mount, a donkey, at a particular location, with a particular partner … her young colt. Matthew seems to tells us that Jesus rides into Jerusalem on collective back of both the donkey and the colt. Matthew does not allow us to misread the identity of either mount … they are not a handsome high-spirited horse or a noble steed.

No, Matthew wants readers to be perfectly
aware of the incongruity between the crowd’s shouts, the royal
processional, and the humble, simple beast of burden upon which Jesus

Continue reading “SOAP on Matthew 21:5 – Who Wants to Be a Donkey?”