You’ve probably never considered the book of Deuteronomy as one long funeral sermon, given by a man who knew he would die, to a people aware of his impending death. That’s exactly what we reflected on this last Sunday.
As such, it is a poignant proclamation of the paramount. It is a declaration of how to live in a way that honors the Creator and brings us joy and the abundant life. In a word, it points us to love. But the question is: Do you know what that word means?
If your curiosity and interest has been piqued, I suggest you continue exploring this chapter in The Whole Story that God has written, the book of Deuteronomy. The resources below will help you proceed:
- Review last week’s sermon on Deuteronomy.
- Watch the video that is part of the Bible Project’s Torah series for an extremely helpful overview, and for how this story addresses the condition of the human heart (and what the Bible means when it speaks of ‘the heart’).
- After seven weeks in our series now, your probably used to this last suggestion, and have already bookmarked in your browser the book summaries from the Bible Project. Click here to find a whole page of videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on this remarkable book, Deuteronomy.
Finally, the foundational statement in all of Deuteronomy is found in what is known as The Shema.
“Hear, O Israel:
Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one.
You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, ESV)
The Bible Project has also created an in-depth study of what I believe is this single greatest summary statement for how to live (if you think that’s an overstatement, just read Jesus and Paul). Be sure to check out their series on The Shema.
As always, please feel free to email me with questions or ideas for The Whole Story. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, when we will begin the next chapter of the drama by studying the story found in Joshua. Be sure to read it before you come!
Resting in the love of Father, Son, and Spirit,
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.
This past Sunday we completed our journey through the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, focusing our study on Ezekiel. We discovered in Ezekiel a book filled with dark visions and confrontational language. And one of the visions (probably the central, controlling metaphor of the book) Ezekiel presents is Israel as a beautiful bride who turns against her bridegroom, God, and breaks all the stipulations of her covenant.
Day Thirty: Vistas of Wisdom
I am very near the end of this little writing experiment called “31 Proverbs.” While I’m unsure how helpful it has been to how ever many have read it, I know that the process of sitting down six days each week to read, ponder, and then ponder some more by plunking on a keyboard has helped me grow in my understanding of wisdom.
Day Thirty-Two: A Mother's Wisdom (part two)
Yesterday, we heard from what was likely King Solomon’s mother imparting worthy words of wisdom in the area of leadership. For the sayings of wisdom we find here are those “which his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). And she now turns her attention to the search for a woman of virtue and noble character, suitable to be a wife and mother.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.