Confessions of a Scapegoat

BFB220430 Hunt - The Scapegoat
The Scapegoat, William Holman Hunt, 1854, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, via Wikimedia Commons.

We think of a scapegoat as someone who takes the blame for someone else. That’s the opposite of what we see in scripture about scapegoats. They’re actually the ones who go free after another goat is sacrificed in their place. Or do they really go free? Considering the burdens they bear, one wonders which of the two goats is truly the free one.

Leviticus 16:1-18:30; Ezekiel 20:2-20, 22:1-19; Matthew 5:17-48; Romans 7:14-25; Hebrews 13:11-16

Click here to listen to the podcast: Confessions of a Scapegoat

Click here to download the transcript: Confessions of a Scapegoat.pdf

Music: “There Is A Redeemer,” Keith Green, Greatest Hits, Sparrow Records 2008.

A Righteous and Honorable Pain

O'Neil, Henry Nelson, 1817-1880; The Trial of Queen Catherine of Aragon
The Trial of Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry Nelson O’Neil, Birmingham Museums Trust, Birmingham, UK.  

The righteous heroes of the Bible seem to be at least as flawed as all of us ordinary people. So why are they considered righteous?

Genesis 28:10-32:2; Hosea 12:12-14:9; Matthew 5:1-12, 19:8-9

Click here to listen to the podcast: A Righteous and Honorable Pain

Click here to download the transcript: A Righteous and Honorable Pain.pdf

Music: “Greensleeves,” The King’s Singers, Greensleeves – Music from the Court of King Henry VIII, Chester Records 2009.

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

Click here to download the transcript: Praying For Babylon.pdf

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

Justice On The Right Terms

Robert Earl Jones (L) as Luther Coleman and Robert Redford (R) as Johnny Hooker in The Sting, winner of the Oscar for Best Picture of 1973. Imaged by Heritage Auctions, HA.com.

We all want to see right prevail. Or do we? Maybe what we really want is to see right prevail as we define it.

Leviticus 24:17-20; Ezekiel 33:10-11; Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:27-38

Click here to listen to the podcast: Justice On the Right Terms

Click here to download the transcript: Justice On The Right Terms.pdf

Music: “Maple Leaf Rag,” Scott Joplin, Stoptime Rag, Future Noise Music Ltd., 2008.

What Happens When Good People Sleep

BFB201122 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S38324 Tag von Potsdam-Adolf Hitler-Paul v Hindenburg
Chancellor Adolf Hitler and President Paul von Hindenburg, March 21, 1933. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S38324 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons.

Everyone wants to be a good citizen and a good neighbor, or at least that’s what we should want. But is that enough? Perhaps there is more to living out our Kingdom calling than simply trying to avoid evil.

Jeremiah 5:20-31; Matthew 5:13-20, 23:27-28; 1 Peter 5:5-11

Click here to listen to the podcast: What Happens When Good People Sleep

Click here to download the transcript: What Happens When Good People Sleep.pdf

Music: “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: IV, by Edvard Grieg, performed by Wiliam T. Strømberg conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Edvard Grieg Music to Henrik Ibsen Peer Gynt, Blikkboks Ltd, 2018.

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