A Word about the Word

Jeff Munroe

Read: Isaiah 55 My word . . . shall not return unto me void. (v. 11 KJV) Henry Bast, one of Words of Hope’s early broadcast ministers and professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary, told his students to preach the great texts, because then at least the people would get something. His point is not lost on me: Isaiah 55 is a great text, and I want to get out of its way. Although I will rattle on for …

Sliding in Sideways

Jeff Munroe

Read: Matthew 5:1-11 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying . . . (v. 2 KJV) In a delightful free verse poem about talking to kindergartners, Christian writer Brian Doyle answers questions such as “is that your real nose?” and “can you write a book / About a ruffed grouse, please?” and then “what do poems do?” While answering that question he notes that poems are “built to slide into you sideways” (How the Light Gets In, p. …

The God Who Stoops

Jeff Munroe

Read: Revelation 21:1-7 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (v. 4 KJV) When I was in junior high, the father of one of my classmates died slowly from leukemia. It was a devastating death that shook my school, my church, and my community. I wasn’t aware of these majestic verses from the book of Revelation until his funeral, and I remember feeling overwhelmed by their beauty the first time I heard them. The idea that the …

The Pinnacle

Jeff Munroe

Read: Romans 8 If God be for us, who can be against us? (v. 31 KJV) For two days I’ve mentioned that Paul’s letters can sometimes be hard to understand. Which letters specifically do I mean? Romans for one. The course I took in seminary on the book of Romans was the best class I’ve ever had, but close to four decades later I would not say I have mastered the content of Romans. It’s a book that keeps me …

Falling and Rising

Jeff Munroe

Read: Philippians 2:1-11 Let this mind be in you. (v. 5 KJV) Yesterday I mentioned that the apostle Paul’s writings are sometimes difficult to understand because of their dense theological arguments. This is not the case with the letter to the Philippians, which may well be Paul’s most beloved epistle, perhaps because he avoids theological disputation in it. It’s a happy letter, returning often to the theme of joy, and it is filled with encouraging and memorable verses. In this …

Kind and Patient

Jeff Munroe

Read: 1 Corinthians 13 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity . . . beareth all things. (vv. 4, 7 KJV) My hunch is that Psalm 23 and 1 Corinthians 13 are the most publicly read chapters in the Bible. Psalm 23 is read at funerals; 1 Corinthians 13 is read at weddings. Psalm 23 provides comfort; 1 Corinthians 13 explains love. The apostle Paul is known as a prolific writer, but not always a beautiful writer. His theological exhortations …