Tag: magnificat

Summary: Jesus speaks of his commission to bring fire to the earth and division to human society. He criticizes his listeners for failing to be able to discern the true character of the present age. His words are sharp, his imagery frightening. At the heart of the passage, however, is Jesus’ expression of his own ardent desire to see justice flourish in the world. The time is now to commit oneself to that, for this season of repentance means that Jesus is urgently calling his hearers to align themselves with God’s priorities. Here, at the thresholds of our own looming mortality and the promised arrival of God’s kingdom in all its fullness, we have an opportunity to share in God’s commitment to remake the whole landscape of human well-being.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: Mary, the mother of Jesus, responds to what she has been told about her son with a bold declaration about God’s habit of overturning the status quo. Mary speaks about God as one who will not let powerless and discarded people remain trapped in those conditions. Her words offer more than wishful hope or religious platitudes; they restlessly and impatiently urge God to spring into action. Listening to Mary respond to her pregnancy has particular poignancy for Christians during Advent: she rouses us into action and expectation. This passage also can help citizens of certain nations think about the long-running war our countries continue to wage, leading us to consider its costs and burdens and to join God in God’s commitment to fostering a different kind of existence.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on Day1 and Patheos.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: The Gospel according to Luke begins unlike any other Gospel. Describing the miraculous conceptions and births of John the Baptizer and Jesus, the opening chapters bring promises and yearnings from the Old Testament into conversation with the new things God is doing. They direct us to read the Gospel in light of how the people of God have come to understand who God is, drawing on old traditions and language. They characterize Jesus’ coming as the advent of God’s promised and hoped-for future.

Read the full article, and listen to an accompanying podcast, in the “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Bible but Were Afraid to Ask” section of EnterTheBible.

Bible commentary: general audience

Summary: Tragedies, like the mass slaughter of schoolchildren in Connecticut, prompt some to offer cringe-worthy declarations about how God might be or not be active in our lives. But the song of Mary, Jesus’ mother, teaches us to speak about God more responsibly.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and Day1.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible