Exploring the Gospel of John: Part 3

gospel of john_ part 3

This is a series on exploring the book of John for rookies and experts alike! Start here and read more here if you want to follow along.


The author of the gospel of John begins by telling the reader who Jesus is from the outset, similar to the way a musical overture functions.[1] In a dramatic and sweeping pronouncement, John 1:1 declares that the (Greek) Logos, or the Word, was eternal, was with God, and was God himself. He likens the Logos to light, life, and the One and Only Son of God (John 1:4, 14, NIV). John then goes on to illustrate the assertions of the prologue by showing Jesus in a series of stories of personal encounters between himself and individuals (or groups.) As the reader reads through the progression of encounters, a picture of Jesus beings to emerge.

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Exploring the Gospel of John: Part 2

gospel of john_ part 2

This is a series on exploring the book of John for rookies and experts alike! Start here, if you want to follow along.


Personally, I have always been drawn to the gospel of John as a favorite account. The interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman of chapter 4 has long been a story from scripture that has encouraged me, especially when Jesus describes himself as the well of life-giving water. The fourth gospel has a way with words that draws a dramatic and compelling picture—imagery of light and dark, good and evil, the kingdom of heaven and the world below. This kind of epic story telling is hard to resist!

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contentions in community

contentions in community

Gal. 5:15 warns the community of believers at Galatia that “if you bite and devour one another, watch out in case you are destroyed by one another,” while 5:26 urges them to “not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

These bookend phrases, including a list of vices and virtues in between, are good evidence of (the author) Paul’s knowledge of a specific situation happening among the community. Paul’s employment of strong language, and even the use of his own handwriting (6:11), indicates a sense of urgency that he seems to be writing with…all of this taken together to build the case that he was fervently working to dispel controversial issues that were threatening to tear apart the young church.

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everyday theology: trust in Galatians 3

et_galatians 3

‘everyday theology’ posts are bite-sized ideas to chew on from scripture, from other works of theology, and from life. feel free to share wherever you hang out on the internet!


Paul’s contrast of the Spirit and flesh in Galatians is strong (and not without some dramatic language!) He uses the Greek word “pistis” (meaning: trust) in this context in chapter 3—challenging the Galatians on the issue of whether they would put their trust in the message of the gospel that they first believed (as Abraham did), or whether they would put their trust in the “works of the flesh” (likely, circumcision as an outward sign.)

To be “sons of Abraham” (3:6-9) means that our righteousness before God comes by way of our trusting in God. It is by faith (belief and trust working together) that we are made right before God and are able to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith is the living out of belief, as we see exemplified in Abraham’s life. He trusted God.

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Exploring the Gospel of John: Part 1

gospel of john_ part 1

Doesn’t this time of year just make you want to learn something new?

It’s officially autumn (or, fawl, as we Southerners say) and for anyone enrolled in school–that means new classes! There’s a chill in the air so it’s finally appropriate to dig out that old college sweatshirt and wear it with your favorite pair of perfectly-broken-in jeans. While we’re at it, go ahead and fill up your travel mug with some fresh coffee and let’s hit the books, okay? If you’re hungry to learn, grab your Bible, a notebook, and something to write with and let’s get started.

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SHARED: “No Happy Harmony” by Elizabeth C. Corey

shared

“Both the ethical imperatives I’ve described—“must work” and “must stay at home”—reflect noble desires, the one for talents fully used and the other for the vocation of motherhood. But I worry that both are too often promoted ideologically, prescribed as answers to the anxieties young women naturally feel about what they should do. This problem is especially pressing for those high-achieving college students I have been describing, who cannot imagine doing anything—be it career or motherhood—halfheartedly.” via No Happy Harmony by Elizabeth C. Corey

As you might already know, the topic of motherhood and vocation has been on my mind and heart lately and Dr. Corey’s insight in this article from First Things exposes the root of tension that I feel almost daily.

It’s about a 20 minute read (well, if you’re a slow reader like me) but well worth it…grab a cup of something warm and dive in.

Is the ‘working mom’ ideal dead? (A mini-rant)

working mom ideal

I have four sisters and one sister-in-law. We are all mothers and we all work (this statement is redundant, because of course all mothers work, but stay with me because I’m going somewhere with this…)

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Grieving the Flood

grieving the flood

The year of the Nashville flood was the hardest year of my adult life. The news reported of the unrelenting brown waters rising higher and higher through the streets of the city that I loved, the city that had been an extended home for most of my 20’s. I was transfixed by the devastation on a small tv screen, watching helpless from two states away, alone in a row house in Treme. All of my friends were there and some of my family. I was not there. My heart was there, but it was also here, slowly shattering into tiny fragments as a marriage I once belonged to and believed in fell apart.

[Read more over at The Mudroom Blog]

Too Late?

illustration Michelle Rial _Too Late

This illustration by Michelle Rial made me smile because, as I’ve hinted at recently, I deal with this fear a lot.

I’m staring down my email inbox on a Monday morning, organizing my class workload for the week, and wondering if it’s too early to make myself a second espresso (it’s 9:30am, I think not.) This isn’t what I thought my mid-thirties would look like. Being back in freaking college? All the lol’s.

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