What Love Is

Two literary illustrations of love in action. Left: Sydney Carton going to execution in the place of Charles Darnay, in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (engraving by Frederick Barnard, c.1895, via JSS Virtual Gallery). Right: Humphrey Bogart (l) as Rick Blaine, with Ingrid Bergman (c) as Ilsa Lund and Paul Heinried (r) as Viktor Laszlo in Casablanca (Movie poster imaged by Heritage Auctions).

We all want to experience love, but do we really know what it is? And if we don’t know what it is, how can we give it – or receive it? 

1 Samuel 13:14; 2 Kings 23:25; Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 12:29-31; John 15:12-14; Acts 13:22; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 4:8

Click here to listen to the podcast: What Love Is

Music: “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner, The Soundtrack of Summer, Trigger Productions, 2014. The music video is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/raNGeq3_DtM.

Weekly Bible Reading for March 21-27 2021: Tzav (Command)

This coming week, March 21-27 2021 (8-14 Nisan), the Bible reading plan covers the following portions.

Tzav (Command)[1]

21 Mar Leviticus 6:8-18 Ezra 4:1-5:17 John 11:1-16 Proverbs 18:7-12
22 Mar Leviticus 6:19-7:10 Ezra 6:1-7:28 John 11:17-37 Proverbs 18:13-18
23 Mar Leviticus 7:11-38 Ezra 8:1-9:15 John 11:38-57 Proverbs 18:19-24
24 Mar Leviticus 8:1-13 Ezra 10:1-44 John 12:1-19 Psalm 76:1-12
25 Mar Leviticus 8:14-21 Nehemiah 1:1-3:15 John 12:20-36 Psalm 77:1-20
26 Mar Leviticus 8:22-29 Nehemiah 3:16-4:23 John 12:37-13:11 Proverbs 19:1-7
27 Mar Leviticus 8:30-36 Malachi 3:4-4:6 John 13:12-30 Proverbs 19:8-14

[1] March 27 is Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath. This is the Shabbat immediately before Pesach. The special preparatory reading is from Malachi.

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2020-21 (Hebrew year 5781) is available at this link:

We Are Coming, But Are We Staying?

Dress On The Colors, US Army Center of Military History.

The Parable of the Sower seems easy enough to understand until we actually have to live it out. Oddly enough, most people probably have no idea they are living out that parable on a daily basis – not only in their individual lives, but in their families, congregations, ministries, and communities. 

1 Samuel 13:14, 24:1-7; Matthew 13:1-23; Galatians 6:1-10; James 5:7-11

Click here to listen to the podcast: We Are Coming, But Are We Staying?

Music: “We Are Coming Father Abram,” Gettysburg College Singers, Songs of the Civil War, Vintage Music, 2013.

Weekly Bible Reading for March 14-20 2021: Vayikra (He called)

This coming week, March 14-20 2021 (1-7 Nisan), the Bible reading plan covers the following portions.

Vayikra (He called)

14 Mar Leviticus 1:1-13 2 Chronicles 29:1-30:27 John 7:25-53 Psalm 73:1-19
15 Mar Leviticus 1:14-2:6 2 Chronicles 31:1-32:33 John 8:1-20 Psalm 73:20-28
16 Mar Leviticus 2:7-16 2 Chronicles 33:1-34:33 John 8:21-38 Proverbs 17:15-21
17 Mar Leviticus 3:1-17 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 John 9:1-23 Proverbs 17:22-28
18 Mar Leviticus 4:1-26 Ezra 1:1-2:39 John 9:24-41 Psalm 74:1-23
19 Mar Leviticus 4:27-5:10 Ezra 2:40-3:13 John 10:1-21 Psalm 75:1-10
20 Mar Leviticus 5:11-6:7 Isaiah 43:21-44:23 John 10:22-42 Proverbs 18:1-6

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2020-21 (Hebrew year 5781) is available at this link:

Praying for Babylon

By the Waters of Babel, James Tissot, The Jewish Museum, Brooklyn.

It’s easy to pray for those in authority when they are good to us, but how do we pray for those we don’t like, or who do us harm? Or is there any obligation to pray for them at all? 

Psalm 137:1-9; Jeremiah 29:4-14; Matthew 5:43-47

Click here to listen to the podcast: Praying for Babylon

Music: “Rivers of Babylon,” Boney M, Nightflight to Venus, Sony Music, 1978/2007.