Archive for "May, 2012"
A Gladewater, Texas boy’s lemonade stand became an incredible success and a heartwarming story of the love of a boy for his father. Drew Cox, age six, set up the stand when he learned his dad, Randy, was diagnosed with cancer.
Somewhere I picked up the idea that Christians were supposed to give abundantly and spontaneously whenever and wherever the need arose. The crisis closet is running low? I’ll just pick up a few extra canned goods at the grocery store.
In an honor and shame culture, one is always trying to improve one’s honor rating, and that requires the doing of good public works that will be seen and praised by other human beings. Jesus however is offering counter-order and counter-intuitive wisdom in such a culture. He in essence says the only audience disciples are to be playing to is an audience of One–God.
Voluntary acts of mercy or charity, designed to meet the needs of the poor. Although there is no specific term for alms in the OT, there are innumerable expressions of concern for those in need. There are numerous exhortations to respond liberally to the plight of the poor or dispossessed (Exod 23:10-11; Lev 19:9-10; Deut 24:19-22; Job 31:16-23; Ps 112:5, 9; Isa 48:6-12).
Recent elections in France, Greece, and Italy have toppled incumbent governments, forcing the debate over Europe’s debt crisis from the realm of economic arguments to that of politics.
Chapter 7 began with a question about mourning rituals. Now Zechariah instructs the people to substitute festivals of celebration for fasting. Looking toward the future, he proclaims God’s promise of renewal and restoration, evoking typical post-exilic themes: the renewal of Jerusalem (vv. 2-5), the return of the exiles (vv. 6-8), the rebuilding of the temple (vv. 9-13), and the conversion of the nations (vv. 20-23).
In this section, the prophet reports seven sayings of God. God first acknowledges intensity of emotion for Zion (v. 2), and then states plans to return to Jerusalem, bringing truth and holiness (v. 3).
In 539/8 B.C.E., Cyrus of Persia issued an edict of toleration which allowed and encouraged Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem, to rebuild the Jerusalem temple, and to renew the rites associated with worship there. This period marks the rebuilding work of Ezra and Nehemiah. Some of the significant literature of the period is Isa 40-66, Zechariah, Haggai, Ezra, and Nehemiah.