A Peculiar Family

Michael Wilcock

Read: Genesis 11:27-32 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. (v. 27) What an uninspiring introduction to one of the Bible’s grandest stories! You might also find some of it rather curious. Terah’s three sons, for instance. Why is “Abraham” spelled “Abram”? Isn’t Haran the name of a town? And as for Nahor, did he actually marry his own niece? Yes, he did. Odder still, we learn later that Abraham’s …

The Cost of Hospitality

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Deuteronomy 10:12-22 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners. (v. 19) Beginning in Deuteronomy 5, Moses recounted the love of God for his people and the kind of obedience God required in response. The spirit of God’s requirements is not rigid obedience to the dictates of the law. Rather, he wants their heart: “Fear the LORD . . . walk in all his ways . . . serve the LORD your God with all your heart” (v. 12). …

Our God Fights for Us

Kelly Brace

Read: Psalm 18 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (v. 29 NLT) The term mama bear is meant to be endearing, used of a loving mother who would do anything for her family, a mother who protects her family with ferocity. The Bible offers several passages that describe this kind of fierce intensity, including Hosea 13:8, where God said of himself, “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed …

Clothed in Beauty

Kelly Brace

Read: Proverbs 3:27-28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” (v. 28 NLT) Clothes. Unless you’re a toddler, you have to wear them regularly. Whether you enjoy shopping or dread it, do you ever think about who made your clothes? Where did the materials come from? Who sewed it all together? How long did it take? Recently, I’ve begun to buy my clothes from Fair Trade Certified or Certified B …

Paul’s Letter to a Slave Owner

Kelly Brace

Read: Philemon 1-25 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. (v. 17) Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave. He met Paul in prison and became a Christian. Paul came to trust and value him. Philemon was a trusted Christian who Paul believed would have an open mind to the idea of freeing Onesimus. But just in case Philemon needed a little extra nudge in that direction, Paul reminded him that he owed him one …

Chocolate

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 7:7-11 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (v. 8) Every time my family has a bonfire, my nephews and niece ask for s’mores. My mom always has graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate ready for them. Our family isn’t unusual. Unfortunately, most of us probably don’t realize that this common treat is tied to slavery. According to a Washington Post article “Cocoa’s Child Laborers,” …