Angel Longings

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:10-12 . . . things into which angels long to look! (v. 12 NRSV) Peter's conviction that there are “things into which angels long to look” intrigues me. Most of the time we either don't think about angels at all or we think about them wrongly, as chubby little figurines or as a baseball team in California. But to Peter and all the other writers of the Bible, they are either fierce warriors of the Lord, …

Praying for a Lifetime!

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father . . . (v. 3) Did you know that the phrase Peter uses to begin his letter is not original to him? He is actually borrowing a phrase from the Sabbath liturgy of the Jewish synagogue. The main section of prayers in the liturgy of the synagogue was called the Shemoneh Esrei, which literally means “eighteen,” and refers to the eighteen blessings that were offered for the gifts that …

Chosen and Destined but Still Exiles!

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:1-2 To the exiles of the Dispersion. (v. 1 NRSV) Today's passage contains a painful dilemma we all know far too well. I am sure you felt it as you read verse 1: “to the exiles . . . who have been chosen and destined . . .” Apparently belonging to the one true God made known to us fully in Jesus Christ is no more a “get of a jail free card” than the whole …

A Theophilus beyond You

Tim Brown

READ : Acts 2:1-3, 37-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. (v. 42 NRSV) The Gospel we have been reading together is actually the first part of a two-volume set that Luke wrote. The second volume, which he also addressed to his same God-loving friend Theophilus, we know as the Acts of the Apostles. At the end of Luke’s Gospel he records Jesus’ promise to his disciples, “Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power …

Having Open Eyes

Tim Brown

READ : Luke 24 And their eyes were opened. (v. 31) In this story we are given two spiritual practices designed to open our eyes to see the Lord: holy conversation and holy eating. I, for one, want to see the Lord, and I’m eager to put these practices into my life. The first practice is holy conversation. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were “talking,” and in the midst of their conversation about Jesus he appeared to …

Christ Is Risen!

Tim Brown

READ : Luke 24:1-12 He is not here, but has risen. (v. 5 NRSV) Everything we treasure most about the Christian faith hangs in the balance of the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus rose from the grave it is proof positive of all the staggering claims he made about himself and all those that have been subsequently made about him. If he did not burst the bands of death as the Gospels report then our treasured faith is as silly …