What happened when a woman interrupted my sermon…at a funeral! – Ezekiel 33:21-33, Part 2

Recently I was officiating a funeral here in our church sanctuary, and a woman arrived very late, long after the funeral service began, walked in and took a seat in the back. During my sermon, she raised her hand. The way she raised her hand was was like a student would raise their hand inContinue reading “What happened when a woman interrupted my sermon…at a funeral! – Ezekiel 33:21-33, Part 2”

When God laments, it can change everything – Ezekiel 19, Part 5

In Ezekiel 19 (starting here) we have seen God lamenting, expressing his pain, in the form of an allegorical funeral dirge, that simply says, “My children whom I love, you have betrayed me and become something totally different and oppressive, something I didn’t want for you. I have tried hard to express my love forContinue reading “When God laments, it can change everything – Ezekiel 19, Part 5”

A lament about lions? – Ezekiel 19, Part 3

Now that we have taken time to understand lament here and here, we return to Ezekiel chapter 19, verse 1, where we learn that God is asking Ezekiel to deliver a lament.  Notice that this lament is the opposite of the psalms of lament.  In the psalms of the lament, David and the other psalmistContinue reading “A lament about lions? – Ezekiel 19, Part 3”

When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2

Jesus lamented. He was hurting deeply, and he expressed that hurt to God. We don’t normally think about Jesus like that, complaining to God. Yet arguably the most famous example of spoken lament comes from Psalm 22, where the psalmist, David, writes, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  It’s famous because JesusContinue reading “When you cry out to God, and he doesn’t seem to answer – Ezekiel 19, Part 2”

A healthy way to face bitterness and loss – Characters: Ruth, Part 3

Have you ever been bitter and angry about the pain that life has brought your way. If so, you’re not alone. So often we are dealt a horrible hand, and at no fault of our own, we are faced with loss, ruin, or sickness. In those moments, bitterness can take root. Maybe its not you.Continue reading “A healthy way to face bitterness and loss – Characters: Ruth, Part 3”

Woe to you, Christians! – Part 1: How a woe oracle could save the church from death

“Woe!” but not “Woah!” What’s the difference? “Woah” is an utterance of surprise, or a command to “Stop!” But “Woe” is a wailing of sadness.  In the Bible there are Woe Oracles in the Old Testament.  That word “woe” was used in Israel primarily at funerals.  People would loudly proclaim “woe” at the passing ofContinue reading “Woe to you, Christians! – Part 1: How a woe oracle could save the church from death”