Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fight the Spread of Malaria


This is it--the year that Congress is ready to act to fight the spread of malaria. But they need your help. They need to know that YOU want them to support funds to fight malaria!

In 2010, malaria will kill as many as one million people worldwide. By the end of today alone, about 2,000 children will have died as a result of the disease. In fact, by the time you finish reading this message, several people will have died from this devastating disease.

In many of the communities where LWR works, mosquitoes--the carriers of malaria--have more power over a child's future than their own mothers. And for adults infected with the disease, and unable to work or care for their families, mosquitoes literally have more control over their lives than any mayor, military, or economic system.

In recent years, the U.S. government has made large and meaningful investments in the fight against malaria, helping save millions of lives. We are closer than ever to winning the fight against malaria. We cannot afford to back away from this fight.

Please sign this letter and ask your member of Congress to support the fight against malaria with proper funding in the 2011 budgeting and appropriations process.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Resurrection is a Hermeneutic: Preliminary Preaching Notes for Easter

So here is the general direction I'll be going for the Easter sermon. Notice that in the resurrection narrative in Luke, the men in dazzling clothes at the tomb say, "Remember how [Jesus] told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." Then it says, "THEN they remembered his words." (24:7-8)

Apparently Jesus' own preaching about his resurrection is forgotten until it is heard again post-resurrection.

But that's not all. Luke keeps going with this kind of theme throughout the rest of his gospel. So on the walk to Emmaus, Jesus says to Cleopas, "Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" "THEN begining with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures (24:27).

When the disciples finally recognize him and have a conversation about it, they equate having their hearts burning inside them with Jesus opening the scriptures to them, as if these were basically the same thing (24:32).

Getting the point yet? If not, Luke does it again when Jesus appears to even more disciples. "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." "THEN he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. Thus it is written that..." (24:44-45).

A great preaching theme for Easter, and the one I will be running with in some way, is the theme of the resurrection opening the eyes of the disciples to a new way of reading Scripture. In point of fact, even when Jesus preached about his own resurrection prior to his death and resurrection, the disciples were unable to understand or even remember it, apparently because they had a different interpretive lens operating that expected something different of the Messiah based on their (now obviously insufficient) reading of scripture.

The resurrection is a hermeneutic.

It is a hermeneutic in the sense that it helped the disciples understand Jesus' own pre-resurrection life more clearly, but it also sends them back to the scriptures (and in fact Jesus in his post-resurrection appearances TAKES them back) to read differently.

Might it be the case that a major barrier to believing the resurrection is not lack of reading the scripture, but mis-reading scripture, or reading the wrong scriptures?

And we can move beyond a text-based sense of this (although sticking to texts is important) and ask how we are blind and forgetful until Jesus, Son of God, the New Hermeneut, helps us read better. And specifically how he teaches us to read is to read him as the fulfillment of the scriptures. It was necessary... and you are witnesses.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Forgotten Ways - Developing Apostolic Imagination and Practice in Western Contexts.

One of the most inspiring books I've read in the past five years or so was The Forgotten Ways - Developing Apostolic Imagination and Practice in Western Contexts. More recently, I'm reading Hirsch's book Untamed. I hope to post a review of it this weekend. But I'm curious, has anyone reading this ever taken their APEST assessment?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letters are Prayers: Part Two

The most sustained letter-writing (snail mail) I've ever engaged in was with a friend from Seattle, WA. He and I carried on a correspondence over a couple of years, averaging one or two letters a week, some lengthy. I have to say that writing back and forth that frequently meant we were conducting a friendship at a level much deeper and profound than many of the friendships I had face-to-face.

Our letters included poems, stories, philosophy, theology, cultural analysis, description. They ranged widely. I still remember one letter especially where he offered a kind of prayer based on a Psalm 46:10:

"Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I AM.

Be still and know that...

Be still and know.

Be still and...

Be still.


We both made use of this prayer as a kind of mantra, reminding ourselves that we can be still and know that God is. That God is "I Am Who I Am." That we can trust that. That we can simply rest in knowing that. That sometimes you can be still, and the "and" comes along in the stillness. Just be still. Just be.

My friend was more of a mystic, and so was happy to leave it at that. Myself, still irrepressibly Lutheran, I like to remember that I am called to be still, to just be, because that's the best response to know that we are justified for Jesus' sake. God does it, not us.

No matter how you frame, either theologically in terms of the proclamation of the Gospel, or apophatically, in the presence of God the I AM, it makes a great prayer, and I commend it for regular use.

As an addendum, I should add that my friend is now an Orthodox monk, and I am a Lutheran pastor. I believe that correspondence we conducted over the years helped shape our individual vocations. God can get in the middle of epistolary conversations and do a new thing.

Letters are Prayers

Hand in Hand Global Mission Support Blog Digest � Blog Archive � OT-G Easter - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

I happen to think that letter writing is an important form of prayer. When we write a letter, we hold the recipient in mind, attend to what words need to be written, and simply keep that person and situation in mind and before God as we write. Operation Thanks-Giving: Easter is one way to engage in prayerful epistolary ministry.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sometimes quick moments
cannot be caught in ball gloves:
the stone skips the pond


Faith like a mustard
seeds the tomb late Good Friday:
Easter is a tree

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Week, 2010

World Water Week, 2010

Gen. 2:6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground—
Gen. 2:10   A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches.
Gen. 16:7   The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.
Gen. 18:4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
Gen. 21:14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
Gen. 21:15   When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes.
Gen. 21:19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
Gen. 21:25   When Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech’s servants had seized,
Gen. 24:11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was toward evening, the time when women go out to draw water.
Gen. 24:13 I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
Gen. 24:15   Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water jar on her shoulder.
Gen. 24:17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.”
Gen. 24:32 So the man came into the house; and Laban unloaded the camels, and gave him straw and fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
Gen. 24:43 I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,”
Gen. 24:45   “Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46 She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
Gen. 26:18 Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herders, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him.
Gen. 26:32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water!”
Gen. 29:3 and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well.
Gen. 29:7 He said, “Look, it is still broad daylight; it is not time for the animals to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.” 8 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”
Gen. 37:24 and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
Gen. 43:24 When the steward had brought the men into Joseph’s house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder,
Gen. 49:4 Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel
because you went up onto your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—you went up onto my couch!
Ex. 2:10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
Ex. 2:16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.
Ex. 2:19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
Ex. 4:9 If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
Ex. 7:15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand by at the river bank to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake.
Ex. 7:17 Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD.” See, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood. 18 The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink, and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.’” 19 The LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of water—so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”
Ex. 7:20   Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and of his officials he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned into blood, 21 and the fish in the river died. The river stank so that the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout the whole land of Egypt.
Ex. 7:24 And all the Egyptians had to dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.
Ex. 8:20   Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
Ex. 12:9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs.
Ex. 14:26   Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.”
Ex. 15:22   Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah.
Ex. 15:25 He cried out to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
 There the LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test.
Ex. 15:27   Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.
Ex. 17:1   From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
Ex. 17:6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Ex. 20:4   You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Ex. 23:25 You shall worship the LORD your God, and I will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from among you.
Ex. 29:4 You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water.
Ex. 30:18 You shall make a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it; 19 with the water Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. 20 When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to make an offering by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die.
Ex. 32:20 He took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.
Ex. 34:28 He was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Ex. 40:7 and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it.
Ex. 40:12 Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water,
Ex. 40:30 He set the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it for washing,
Lev. 1:9 but its entrails and its legs shall be washed with water. Then the priest shall turn the whole into smoke on the altar as a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD.
Lev. 1:13 but the entrails and the legs shall be washed with water. Then the priest shall offer the whole and turn it into smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD.
Lev. 6:28 An earthen vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; but if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water.
Lev. 8:6   Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward, and washed them with water.
Lev. 8:21 And after the entrails and the legs were washed with water, Moses turned into smoke the whole ram on the altar; it was a burnt offering for a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Lev. 11:18 the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture,
Lev. 11:32 And anything upon which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether an article of wood or cloth or skin or sacking, any article that is used for any purpose; it shall be dipped into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening, and then it shall be clean.
Lev. 11:34 Any food that could be eaten shall be unclean if water from any such vessel comes upon it; and any liquid that could be drunk shall be unclean if it was in any such vessel.
Lev. 11:36 But a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean, while whatever touches the carcass in it shall be unclean.
Lev. 11:38 but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.
Lev. 14:5 The priest shall command that one of the birds be slaughtered over fresh water in an earthen vessel. 6 He shall take the living bird with the cedarwood and the crimson yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water.
Lev. 14:8 The one who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, but shall live outside his tent seven days. 9 On the seventh day he shall shave all his hair: of head, beard, eyebrows; he shall shave all his hair. Then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean.
Lev. 14:50 and shall slaughter one of the birds over fresh water in an earthen vessel, 51 and shall take the cedarwood and the hyssop and the crimson yarn, along with the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 Thus he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the fresh water, and with the living bird, and with the cedarwood and hyssop and crimson yarn;
Lev. 15:5 Anyone who touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 6 All who sit on anything on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash their clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 7 All who touch the body of the one with the discharge shall wash their clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 8 If the one with the discharge spits on persons who are clean, then they shall wash their clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev. 15:10 All who touch anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening, and all who carry such a thing shall wash their clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 11 All those whom the one with the discharge touches without his having rinsed his hands in water shall wash their clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 12 Any earthen vessel that the one with the discharge touches shall be broken; and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.
Lev. 15:13   When the one with a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, he shall count seven days for his cleansing; he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in fresh water, and he shall be clean.
Lev. 15:16   If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and be unclean until the evening. 17 Everything made of cloth or of skin on which the semen falls shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the evening. 18 If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev. 15:21 Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. 22 Whoever touches anything upon which she sits shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening;
Lev. 15:27 Whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev. 16:4 He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and shall have the linen undergarments next to his body, fasten the linen sash, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy vestments. He shall bathe his body in water, and then put them on.
Lev. 16:24 He shall bathe his body in water in a holy place, and put on his vestments; then he shall come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, making atonement for himself and for the people.
Lev. 16:26 The one who sets the goat free for Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp.
Lev. 16:28 The one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp.
Lev. 17:15 All persons, citizens or aliens, who eat what dies of itself or what has been torn by wild animals, shall wash their clothes, and bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening; then they shall be clean.
Lev. 22:6 the person who touches any such shall be unclean until evening and shall not eat of the sacred donations unless he has washed his body in water.
Num. 5:17 the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 The priest shall set the woman before the LORD, dishevel the woman’s hair, and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. In his own hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse. 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, “If no man has lain with you, if you have not turned aside to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings the curse.
Num. 5:22 now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!” And the woman shall say, “Amen. Amen.” 23 Then the priest shall put these curses in writing, and wash them off into the water of bitterness. 24 He shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her and cause bitter pain.
Num. 5:26 and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering, as its memorial portion, and turn it into smoke on the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people.
Num. 8:7 Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification on them, have them shave their whole body with a razor and wash their clothes, and so cleanse themselves.
Num. 19:7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he may come into the camp; but the priest shall remain unclean until evening. 8 The one who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water; he shall remain unclean until evening. 9 Then someone who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the Israelites for the water for cleansing. It is a purification offering.
Num. 19:12 They shall purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean; but if they do not purify themselves on the third day and on the seventh day, they will not become clean. 13 All who touch a corpse, the body of a human being who has died, and do not purify themselves, defile the tabernacle of the LORD; such persons shall be cut off from Israel. Since water for cleansing was not dashed on them, they remain unclean; their uncleanness is still on them.
Num. 19:17 For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt purification offering, and running water shall be added in a vessel; 18 then a clean person shall take hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the furnishings, on the persons who were there, and on whoever touched the bone, the slain, the corpse, or the grave. 19 The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean ones on the third day and on the seventh day, thus purifying them on the seventh day. Then they shall wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water, and at evening they shall be clean. 20 Any who are unclean but do not purify themselves, those persons shall be cut off from the assembly, for they have defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. Since the water for cleansing has not been dashed on them, they are unclean.
Num. 19:21   It shall be a perpetual statute for them. The one who sprinkles the water for cleansing shall wash his clothes, and whoever touches the water for cleansing shall be unclean until evening.
Num. 20:2   Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron.
Num. 20:5 Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.”
Num. 20:8 Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock.
Num. 20:10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank.
Num. 20:17 Now let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from any well; we will go along the King’s Highway, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”
Num. 20:19 The Israelites said to him, “We will stay on the highway; and if we drink of your water, we and our livestock, then we will pay for it. It is only a small matter; just let us pass through on foot.”
Num. 21:5 The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”
Num. 21:16   From there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
Num. 21:22 “Let me pass through your land; we will not turn aside into field or vineyard; we will not drink the water of any well; we will go by the King’s Highway until we have passed through your territory.”
Num. 24:7 Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall have abundant water,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.
Num. 31:23 everything that can withstand fire, shall be passed through fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless it shall also be purified with the water for purification; and whatever cannot withstand fire, shall be passed through the water.
Num. 33:9 They set out from Marah and came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.
Num. 33:14 They set out from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
Deut. 2:6 You shall purchase food from them for money, so that you may eat; and you shall also buy water from them for money, so that you may drink.
Deut. 2:28 You shall sell me food for money, so that I may eat, and supply me water for money, so that I may drink. Only allow me to pass through on foot—
Deut. 4:18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.
Deut. 5:8   You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Deut. 8:15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock,
Deut. 9:9 When I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant that the LORD made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water.
Deut. 9:18 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the LORD by doing what was evil in his sight.
Deut. 11:4 what he did to the Egyptian army, to their horses and chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, so that the LORD has destroyed them to this day;
Deut. 12:16 The blood, however, you must not eat; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
Deut. 12:24 Do not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
Deut. 14:9   Of all that live in water you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat.
Deut. 14:16 the little owl and the great owl, the water hen
Deut. 15:23 Its blood, however, you must not eat; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
Deut. 21:4 the elders of that town shall bring the heifer down to a wadi with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the wadi.
Deut. 23:4 because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Deut. 23:11 When evening comes, he shall wash himself with water, and when the sun has set, he may come back into the camp.
Deut. 29:11 your children, your women, and the aliens who are in your camp, both those who cut your wood and those who draw your water—
Josh. 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
Josh. 3:15 Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water,
Josh. 7:5 The men of Ai killed about thirty-six of them, chasing them from outside the gate as far as Shebarim and killing them on the slope. The hearts of the people melted and turned to water.
Josh. 9:21 The leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the congregation, as the leaders had decided concerning them.
Josh. 9:23 Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you shall always be slaves, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”
Josh. 9:27 But on that day Joshua made them hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, to continue to this day, in the place that he should choose.
Josh. 15:19 She said to him, “Give me a present; since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me springs of water as well.” So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
Judg. 4:19 Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him.
Judg. 5:4    “LORD, when you went out from Seir,
when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled,
and the heavens poured,
the clouds indeed poured water.
Judg. 5:25 He asked water and she gave him milk,
she brought him curds in a lordly bowl.
Judg. 6:38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water.
Judg. 7:4   Then the LORD said to Gideon, “The troops are still too many; take them down to the water and I will sift them out for you there. When I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; and when I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5 So he brought the troops down to the water; and the LORD said to Gideon, “All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side; all those who kneel down to drink, putting their hands to their mouths, you shall put to the other side.” 6 The number of those that lapped was three hundred; but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water.
Judg. 15:19 So God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came from it. When he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore it was named En-hakkore, which is at Lehi to this day.
1Sam. 7:6 So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the LORD. They fasted that day, and said, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.
1Sam. 9:11   As they went up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?”
1Sam. 25:11 Shall I take my bread and my water and the meat that I have butchered for my shearers, and give it to men who come from I do not know where?”
1Sam. 26:11 The LORD forbid that I should raise my hand against the LORD’S anointed; but now take the spear that is at his head, and the water jar, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear that was at Saul’s head and the water jar, and they went away. No one saw it, or knew it, nor did anyone awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.
1Sam. 26:16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD’S anointed. See now, where is the king’s spear, or the water jar that was at his head?”
1Sam. 30:11   In the open country they found an Egyptian, and brought him to David. They gave him bread and he ate, they gave him water to drink; 12 they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit revived; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights.
2Sam. 5:8 David had said on that day, “Whoever would strike down the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, those whom David hates.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”
2Sam. 12:27 Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the water city.
2Sam. 14:14 We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up. But God will not take away a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished forever from his presence.
2Sam. 17:20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said to them, “They have crossed over the brook of water.” And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
2Sam. 17:21   After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Go and cross the water quickly; for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.”
2Sam. 22:12 He made darkness around him a canopy,
thick clouds, a gathering of water.
2Sam. 23:15 David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 16 Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the LORD,
1Kings 13:8 But the man of God said to the king, “If you give me half your kingdom, I will not go in with you; nor will I eat food or drink water in this place. 9 For thus I was commanded by the word of the LORD: You shall not eat food, or drink water, or return by the way that you came.”
1Kings 13:16 But he said, “I cannot return with you, or go in with you; nor will I eat food or drink water with you in this place; 17 for it was said to me by the word of the LORD: You shall not eat food or drink water there, or return by the way that you came.” 18 Then the other said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD: Bring him back with you into your house so that he may eat food and drink water.” But he was deceiving him. 19 Then the man of God went back with him, and ate food and drank water in his house.
1Kings 13:22 but have come back and have eaten food and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, ‘Eat no food, and drink no water,’ your body shall not come to your ancestral tomb.”
1Kings 14:15   “The LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; he will root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their ancestors, and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their sacred poles, provoking the LORD to anger.
1Kings 17:10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.”
1Kings 18:4 when Jezebel was killing off the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, hid them fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water.) 5 Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the wadis; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.”
1Kings 18:13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred of the LORD’S prophets fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water?
1Kings 18:33 Next he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”
1Kings 18:35 so that the water ran all around the altar, and filled the trench also with water.
1Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench.
1Kings 19:6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again.
1Kings 22:27 and say, ‘Thus says the king: Put this fellow in prison, and feed him on reduced rations of bread and water until I come in peace.’”
2Kings 2:8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
2Kings 2:14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
2Kings 2:19   Now the people of the city said to Elisha, “The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.”
2Kings 2:21 Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, “Thus says the LORD, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” 22 So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.
2Kings 3:9   So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out; and when they had made a roundabout march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that were with them.
2Kings 3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, through whom we may inquire of the LORD?” Then one of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah, is here.”
2Kings 3:17 For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall see neither wind nor rain, but the wadi shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your animals.’
2Kings 3:19 You shall conquer every fortified city and every choice city; every good tree you shall fell, all springs of water you shall stop up, and every good piece of land you shall ruin with stones.” 20 The next day, about the time of the morning offering, suddenly water began to flow from the direction of Edom, until the country was filled with water.
2Kings 3:22 When they rose early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood.
2Kings 3:25 The cities they overturned, and on every good piece of land everyone threw a stone, until it was covered; every spring of water they stopped up, and every good tree they felled. Only at Kir-hareseth did the stone walls remain, until the slingers surrounded and attacked it.
2Kings 6:5 But as one was felling a log, his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, “Alas, master! It was borrowed.”
2Kings 6:22 He answered, “No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.”
2Kings 8:15 But the next day he took the bed-cover and dipped it in water and spread it over the king’s face, until he died. And Hazael succeeded him.
2Kings 18:31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree, and drink water from your own cistern,
2Kings 20:20   The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah, all his power, how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?
1Chr. 11:17 David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 18 Then the Three broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and they brought it to David. But David would not drink of it; he poured it out to the LORD,
2Chr. 18:26 and say, ‘Thus says the king: Put this fellow in prison, and feed him on reduced rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’”
2Chr. 32:4 A great many people were gathered, and they stopped all the springs and the wadi that flowed through the land, saying, “Why should the Assyrian kings come and find water in abundance?”
Ezra 10:6   Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God, and went to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night. He did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.
Neh. 3:26 and the temple servants living on Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower.
Neh. 8:1 all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel.
Neh. 8:3 He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
Neh. 8:16 So the people went out and brought them, and made booths for themselves, each on the roofs of their houses, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim.
Neh. 9:15 For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.
Neh. 9:20 You gave your good spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and gave them water for their thirst.
Neh. 12:37 At the Fountain Gate, in front of them, they went straight up by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to the Water Gate on the east.
Neh. 13:2 because they did not meet the Israelites with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing.
Job 3:24 For my sighing comes like my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
Job 8:11    “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
Job 14:9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth branches like a young plant.
Job 15:16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
one who drinks iniquity like water!
Job 22:7 You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
Job 22:11 or darkness so that you cannot see;
a flood of water covers you.
Job 34:7 Who is there like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
Job 36:27 For he draws up the drops of water;
he distills his mist in rain,
Psa. 1:3 They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
Psa. 18:11 He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Psa. 22:14    I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
Psa. 58:7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
Psa. 63:1 O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psa. 65:9    You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
Psa. 66:12 you let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
Psa. 72:6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
Psa. 77:17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies thundered;
your arrows flashed on every side.
Psa. 78:20 Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?”
Psa. 79:3 They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
Psa. 104:13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
Psa. 105:41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed through the desert like a river.
Psa. 107:33    He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
Psa. 107:35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
Psa. 109:18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat,
may it soak into his body like water,
like oil into his bones.
Psa. 114:8 who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
Prov. 5:15    Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Prov. 8:24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Prov. 9:17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
Prov. 11:25 A generous person will be enriched,
and one who gives water will get water.
Prov. 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water;
so stop before the quarrel breaks out.
Prov. 20:5 The purposes in the human mind are like deep water,
but the intelligent will draw them out.
Prov. 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
Prov. 25:21 If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;
and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;
Prov. 25:25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
Prov. 27:19 Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.
Prov. 30:16 Sheol, the barren womb,
the earth ever thirsty for water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
Eccl. 2:6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.
Song 4:15 a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.
Song 5:12 His eyes are like doves
beside springs of water,
bathed in milk,
fitly set.
Is. 1:22 Your silver has become dross,
your wine is mixed with water.
Is. 1:30 For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water.
Is. 3:1 For now the Sovereign, the LORD of hosts,
is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and staff—
all support of bread,
and all support of water—
Is. 12:3   With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Is. 14:23 And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the LORD of hosts.
Is. 19:8 Those who fish will mourn;
all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,
and those who spread nets on the water will languish.
Is. 21:14 Bring water to the thirsty,
meet the fugitive with bread,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
Is. 22:11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago.
Is. 27:3 I, the LORD, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
I guard it night and day
so that no one can harm it;
Is. 30:14 its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a sherd is found
for taking fire from the hearth,
or dipping water out of the cistern.
Is. 30:20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
Is. 30:25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
Is. 32:2 Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a covert from the tempest,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Is. 33:16 they will live on the heights;
their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
their food will be supplied, their water assured.
Is. 35:7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
Is. 36:16 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then everyone of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree and drink water from your own cistern,
Is. 41:17    When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
Is. 43:20 The wild animals will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
Is. 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring.
Is. 44:12   The ironsmith fashions it and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint.
Is. 48:21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split open the rock and the water gushed out.
Is. 49:10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.
Is. 50:2 Why was no one there when I came?
Why did no one answer when I called?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
By my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a desert;
their fish stink for lack of water,
and die of thirst.
Is. 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Is. 64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
Jer. 2:13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns
that can hold no water.
Jer. 6:7 As a well keeps its water fresh,
so she keeps fresh her wickedness;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Jer. 8:14    Why do we sit still?
Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities
and perish there;
for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish,
and has given us poisoned water to drink,
because we have sinned against the LORD.
Jer. 9:1 O that my head were a spring of water,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
for the slain of my poor people!
Jer. 9:15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I am feeding this people with wormwood, and giving them poisonous water to drink.
Jer. 9:18 let them quickly raise a dirge over us,
so that our eyes may run down with tears,
and our eyelids flow with water.
Jer. 13:1   Thus said the LORD to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water.”
Jer. 14:3 Her nobles send their servants for water;
they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
and cover their heads,
Jer. 17:8 They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.
Jer. 17:13 O hope of Israel! O LORD!
All who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you shall be recorded in the underworld,
for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the LORD.
Jer. 23:15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets:
“I am going to make them eat wormwood,
and give them poisoned water to drink;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
Jer. 31:9 With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Jer. 38:6 So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
Lam. 2:19    Arise, cry out in the night,
at the beginning of the watches!
Pour out your heart like water
before the presence of the Lord!
Lift your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint for hunger
at the head of every street.
Lam. 3:54 water closed over my head;
I said, “I am lost.”
Lam. 5:4 We must pay for the water we drink;
the wood we get must be bought.
Ezek. 4:11 And you shall drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; at fixed times you shall drink.
Ezek. 4:16   Then he said to me, Mortal, I am going to break the staff of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with fearfulness; and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. 17 Lacking bread and water, they will look at one another in dismay, and waste away under their punishment.
Ezek. 7:17 All hands shall grow feeble,
all knees turn to water.
Ezek. 12:18 Mortal, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with fearfulness; 19 and say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink their water in dismay, because their land shall be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who live in it.
Ezek. 16:4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in cloths.
Ezek. 16:9 Then I bathed you with water and washed off the blood from you, and anointed you with oil.
Ezek. 17:7    There was another great eagle,
with great wings and much plumage.
And see! This vine stretched out
its roots toward him;
It shot out its branches toward him,
so that he might water it.
From the bed where it was planted
Ezek. 19:10 Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard
transplanted by the water,
fruitful and full of branches
from abundant water.
Ezek. 21:7 And when they say to you, “Why do you moan?” you shall say, “Because of the news that has come. Every heart will melt and all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will turn to water. See, it comes and it will be fulfilled,” says the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 24:3 And utter an allegory to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD:
Set on the pot, set it on,
pour in water also;
Ezek. 26:12 They will plunder your riches
and loot your merchandise;
they shall break down your walls
and destroy your fine houses.
Your stones and timber and soil
they shall cast into the water.
Ezek. 31:5 So it towered high
above all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large
and its branches long,
from abundant water in its shoots.
Ezek. 31:7 It was beautiful in its greatness,
in the length of its branches;
for its roots went down
to abundant water.
Ezek. 31:14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to lofty height or set their tops among the clouds, and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height.
For all of them are handed over to death,
to the world below;
along with all mortals,
with those who go down to the Pit.
Ezek. 32:2 Mortal, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him:
You consider yourself a lion among the nations,
but you are like a dragon in the seas;
you thrash about in your streams,
trouble the water with your feet,
and foul your streams.
Ezek. 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet?
Ezek. 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
Ezek. 47:1   Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.
Ezek. 47:3   Going on eastward with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. 4 Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed.
Ezek. 47:8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh.
Ezek. 47:12 On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
Dan. 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Hos. 2:5 For their mother has played the whore;
she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, “I will go after my lovers;
they give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.”
Hos. 5:10 The princes of Judah have become
like those who remove the landmark;
on them I will pour out
my wrath like water.
Hos. 6:3 Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD;
his appearing is as sure as the dawn;
he will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Joel 3:18    In that day
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the stream beds of Judah
shall flow with water;
a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD
and water the Wadi Shittim.
Amos 4:8 so two or three towns wandered to one town
to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me, says the LORD.
Amos 8:11    The time is surely coming, says the Lord GOD,
when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD.
Jonah 3:7 Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water.
Nah. 3:8    Are you better than Thebes
that sat by the Nile,
with water around her,
her rampart a sea,
water her wall?
Nah. 3:14    Draw water for the siege,
strengthen your forts;
trample the clay,
tread the mortar,
take hold of the brick mold!
Hab. 3:10 The mountains saw you, and writhed;
a torrent of water swept by;
the deep gave forth its voice.
The sun raised high its hands;
Tob. 6:3 Then the young man went down to wash his feet in the Tigris river. Suddenly a large fish leaped up from the water and tried to swallow the young man’s foot, and he cried out.
Judith 2:7 Tell them to prepare earth and water, for I am coming against them in my anger, and will cover the whole face of the earth with the feet of my troops, to whom I will hand them over to be plundered.
Judith 7:7 He reconnoitered the approaches to their town, and visited the springs that supplied their water; he seized them and set guards of soldiers over them, and then returned to his army.
Judith 7:12 Remain in your camp, and keep all the men in your forces with you; let your servants take possession of the spring of water that flows from the foot of the mountain, 13 for this is where all the people of Bethulia get their water. So thirst will destroy them, and they will surrender their town. Meanwhile, we and our people will go up to the tops of the nearby mountains and camp there to keep watch to see that no one gets out of the town.
Judith 7:17 So the army of the Ammonites moved forward, together with five thousand Assyrians, and they encamped in the valley and seized the water supply and the springs of the Israelites.
Judith 7:20 The whole Assyrian army, their infantry, chariots, and cavalry, surrounded them for thirty-four days, until all the water containers of every inhabitant of Bethulia were empty; 21 their cisterns were going dry, and on no day did they have enough water to drink, for their drinking water was rationed.
Judith 8:9   When Judith heard the harsh words spoken by the people against the ruler, because they were faint for lack of water, and when she heard all that Uzziah said to them, and how he promised them under oath to surrender the town to the Assyrians after five days,
Judith 10:3 She removed the sackcloth she had been wearing, took off her widow’s garments, bathed her body with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment. She combed her hair, put on a tiara, and dressed herself in the festive attire that she used to wear while her husband Manasseh was living.
Judith 11:12 Since their food supply is exhausted and their water has almost given out, they have planned to kill their livestock and have determined to use all that God by his laws has forbidden them to eat.
Wis. 5:10 like a ship that sails through the billowy water,
and when it has passed no trace can be found,
no track of its keel in the waves;
Wis. 5:22 and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult;
the water of the sea will rage against them,
and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them;
Wis. 11:4 When they were thirsty, they called upon you,
and water was given them out of flinty rock,
and from hard stone a remedy for their thirst.
Wis. 11:7 in rebuke for the decree to kill the infants,
you gave them abundant water unexpectedly,
Wis. 13:2 but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,
or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,
or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
Wis. 16:17 For—most incredible of all—in water, which quenches all things,
the fire had still greater effect,
for the universe defends the righteous.
Wis. 16:19 and at another time even in the midst of water it burned more intensely than fire,
to destroy the crops of the unrighteous land.
Wis. 16:29 for the hope of an ungrateful person will melt like wintry frost,
and flow away like waste water.
Wis. 17:18 Whether there came a whistling wind,
or a melodious sound of birds in wide-spreading branches,
or the rhythm of violently rushing water,
Wis. 19:7 The cloud was seen overshadowing the camp,
and dry land emerging where water had stood before,
an unhindered way out of the Red Sea,
and a grassy plain out of the raging waves,
Wis. 19:19 For land animals were transformed into water creatures,
and creatures that swim moved over to the land.
20 Fire even in water retained its normal power,
and water forgot its fire-quenching nature.
Sir. 3:30 As water extinguishes a blazing fire,
so almsgiving atones for sin.
Sir. 15:3 She will feed him with the bread of learning,
and give him the water of wisdom to drink.
Sir. 15:16 He has placed before you fire and water;
stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
Sir. 18:10 Like a drop of water from the sea and a grain of sand,
so are a few years among the days of eternity.
Sir. 24:14 I grew tall like a palm tree in En-gedi,
and like rosebushes in Jericho;
like a fair olive tree in the field,
and like a plane tree beside water I grew tall.
Sir. 24:30 As for me, I was like a canal from a river,
like a water channel into a garden.
31 I said, “I will water my garden
and drench my flower-beds.”
And lo, my canal became a river,
and my river a sea.
Sir. 25:25 Allow no outlet to water,
and no boldness of speech to an evil wife.
Sir. 26:12 As a thirsty traveler opens his mouth
and drinks from any water near him,
so she will sit in front of every tent peg
and open her quiver to the arrow.
Sir. 29:21 The necessities of life are water, bread, and clothing,
and also a house to assure privacy.
Sir. 38:5 Was not water made sweet with a tree
in order that its power might be known?
Sir. 39:13 Listen to me, my faithful children, and blossom
like a rose growing by a stream of water.
Sir. 39:17 No one can say, ‘What is this?’ or ‘Why is that?’—
for at the appointed time all such questions will be answered.
At his word the waters stood in a heap,
and the reservoirs of water at the word of his mouth.
Sir. 39:26 The basic necessities of human life
are water and fire and iron and salt
and wheat flour and milk and honey,
the blood of the grape and oil and clothing.
Sir. 40:16 The reeds by any water or river bank
are plucked up before any grass;
Sir. 43:20 The cold north wind blows,
and ice freezes on the water;
it settles on every pool of water,
and the water puts it on like a breastplate.
Sir. 48:17 Hezekiah fortified his city,
and brought water into its midst;
he tunneled the rock with iron tools,
and built cisterns for the water.
Sir. 50:3 In his days a water cistern was dug,
a reservoir like the sea in circumference.
Sir. 50:8 like roses in the days of first fruits,
like lilies by a spring of water,
like a green shoot on Lebanon on a summer day;
1Mac. 5:40   Now as Judas and his army drew near to the stream of water, Timothy said to the officers of his forces, “If he crosses over to us first, we will not be able to resist him, for he will surely defeat us.
1Mac. 5:42 When Judas approached the stream of water, he stationed the officers of the army at the stream and gave them this command, “Permit no one to encamp, but make them all enter the battle.”
1Mac. 9:33 But Jonathan and his brother Simon and all who were with him heard of it, and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoa and camped by the water of the pool of Asphar.
1Mac. 9:45 For look! the battle is in front of us and behind us; the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that, with marsh and thicket; there is no place to turn.
2Mac. 15:39 For just as it is harmful to drink wine alone, or, again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one’s enjoyment, so also the style of the story delights the ears of those who read the work. And here will be the end.
1Esdr. 9:2 and spent the night there; and he did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the great iniquities of the multitude.
2Esdr. 1:23 I did not send fire on you for your blasphemies, but threw a tree into the water and made the stream sweet.
2Esdr. 4:49 And after this a cloud full of water passed before me and poured down a heavy and violent rain, and when the violent rainstorm had passed, drops still remained in the cloud.
2Esdr. 6:47   “On the fifth day you commanded the seventh part, where the water had been gathered together, to bring forth living creatures, birds, and fishes; and so it was done. 48 The dumb and lifeless water produced living creatures, as it was commanded, so that therefore the nations might declare your wondrous works.
2Esdr. 6:50 And you separated one from the other, for the seventh part where the water had been gathered together could not hold them both.
2Esdr. 7:7 but the entrance to it is narrow and set in a precipitous place, so that there is fire on the right hand and deep water on the left. 8 There is only one path lying between them, that is, between the fire and the water, so that only one person can walk on the path.
2Esdr. 7:40 or cloud or thunder or lightning, or wind or water or air, or darkness or evening or morning,
2Esdr. 8:8 And because you give life to the body that is now fashioned in the womb, and furnish it with members, what you have created is preserved amid fire and water, and for nine months the womb endures your creature that has been created in it.
2Esdr. 9:16 as a wave is greater than a drop of water.”
2Esdr. 14:39 So I opened my mouth, and a full cup was offered to me; it was full of something like water, but its color was like fire.
2Esdr. 15:41 fire and hail and flying swords and floods of water, so that all the fields and all the streams shall be filled with the abundance of those waters.
2Esdr. 15:58 Those who are in the mountains and highlands shall perish of hunger, and they shall eat their own flesh in hunger for bread and drink their own blood in thirst for water.
2Esdr. 16:58 he has confined the sea in the midst of the waters; and by his word he has suspended the earth over the water.
2Esdr. 16:60 he has put springs of water in the desert, and pools on the tops of the mountains, so as to send rivers from the heights to water the earth.
4Mac. 3:11 But a certain irrational desire for the water in the enemy’s territory tormented and inflamed him, undid and consumed him.
Matt. 3:11   “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Matt. 3:16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
Matt. 8:32 And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water.
Matt. 10:42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Matt. 14:28   Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
Matt. 17:15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
Matt. 27:24   So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”
Mark 1:8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
Mark 9:22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
Mark 9:41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
Mark 14:13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him,
Luke 3:16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Luke 5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Luke 7:44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
Luke 8:23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.
Luke 8:25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
Luke 13:15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water?
Luke 16:24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’
Luke 22:10 “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters
John 1:26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,
John 1:31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John 1:33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
John 2:6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.
John 2:9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
John 3:23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized
John 4:7   A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
John 4:13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
John 4:28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
John 4:46   Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum.
John 5:7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”
John 7:38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
John 13:5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
John 19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.
Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 8:36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” 38 He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 10:47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
Acts 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Eph. 5:26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word,
1Tim. 5:23   No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Heb. 9:19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people,
Heb. 10:22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
James 3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
1Pet. 3:20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
2Pet. 3:5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, 6 through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished.
1John 5:6   This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.
1John 5:8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.
Rev. 7:17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Rev. 8:10   The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.
Rev. 12:15 Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood.
Rev. 14:7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Rev. 16:4   The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.
Rev. 16:12   The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up in order to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
Rev. 21:6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
Rev. 22:1   Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Rev. 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preacher as Host

This Lent I've had the unusual situation of preaching only one Sunday of the whole Lenten season. Two of the Sundays were scheduled for the intern. Then we hosted two missionaries as guest preachers. This left me only one Sunday of preaching between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday.*

The first preacher, John Mix, blogs here: http://awakeningtoloveandjoy.blogspot.com

He is the chaplain for the Dane County Jail in Madison, and he uses art as part of his pastoral care strategy. An awesome, gentle soul.

The second, Steven Dreher, blogs here: http://lightaboutmypath.blogspot.com/

He is a pilot and missionary with Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots, serving remote areas of Northern Canada, especially native communities inaccessible by regular roads.

Each of their stories was completely fascinating, and it was spectacular to host them as preachers and speakers. By the time the second guest had visited, however, I was having a bit of guilt about giving up the pulpit so often to other preachers, and not preaching the Word of God myself more regularly.

However, my guilt is assuaged by considering the following possibilities:

1) I've been preaching at EKLC for over five years now, and the congregation may enjoy respites from my voice in order to hear others.

2) You need to schedule missionaries when they are available to visit. They were available now.

3) Preachers can also perform their ministry well by being good hosts, and stewarding the Word of God by inviting others to preach.

4) Inviting missionaries to preach places the message of Christ in a wider purview, offers a hint of the cosmic, global ministry of Jesus Christ, and helps the congregation think about and imagine the Word of God going into all sorts of places they typically don't go (like jail and remote Canada).

So this has me pondering the theological implications of serving as host rather than preacher in a congregation. Can the pastor appropriately think of him or herself as emcee? Minister of Word, Sacrament, and community? We often call it the ministry of Word (focusing on the task of preaching and biblical interpretation), and sacrament (focusing on presiding at table and stewarding the mysteries of God), but what about being the emcee, the voice up front, the host, who makes sure everyone has a seat, that guests are treated well, etc. Has this role or function been addressed in practical theology?

* (Lest you think that meant no preaching, I still had three Wednesday sermons, plus prepping special music for Lenten mid-week services, including musical covers of Garth Brooks, Gillian Welch, and Willie Nelson).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Three Mini Reviews

I finished three shorter books this week and offer mini-reviews here.

1. Preaching from Memory to Hope, Thomas G. Long

This is hands down the best book on preaching I've read this past year, and since I just finished a d.min. course on preaching where we read 15 or so books on preaching, that is saying something. Long analyzes the development and then decline of narrative preaching, and argues for a second look. Great historical review and summary. Then there are some wonderful middle chapter on the new atheists, the new gnostics, and especially caring yet probing look at the gnosticism of Marcus Borg. Finally, Long makes the case for the recovery of eschatology in preaching especially in mainline churches. He is such a spectacular writer, you won't be disappointed.

2. The Promise of Despair, Andrew Root

This is more of a devotional book than straight up theology, and it is both weaker and stronger as a result. Although Root grounds his stories and chapters by connecting them with various social theorists (Baudrillard, Lyon, Gibbons, Moltmann, etc.) the book is actually more of a memoir and commentary on the church and institutions Root is a part of currently. In fact, the web site he has launched in connection to the book is purportedly an experiment in living out the practices he writes about in his book in an actual congregation, the one his wife is pastor of. This is either genius, or disturbing, I haven't decided which yet.

3. The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church, Dave Gibbons

This is a really popular leadership book, but I can't say I got a ton out of it, other than to be continually somewhat envious of Dave Gibbons and the NewSong movement he has initiated. Third-culture basically means multi-cultural or cross-cultural, possibly with an added dimension of being will to suffer the culture of another in Christ's name. Gibbons does define the term:

"Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn, and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort" (38).

Gibbons tells a powerful story, and he is clearly an effective leader, innovator, and pastor, but I think I would learn more by visiting a NewSong congregation than by reading this book. I don't mean that to sound overly critical, but the book just didn't connect for me, other than making me very much want to visit one of his churches.


Friday, March 19, 2010

What do Josh Rouse, Calexico, and Buena Vista Social Club have in common?

Let's take Josh Rouse, Calexico, and Buena Vista Social Club as representative. All three are cross-over musicians between indie rock listeners in North America and what might be called Latin-inflected jazz or country.

I do not consider myself an expert in these styles of music, but here are some of the words used to describe these bands:

1. Calexico-- Latin, mariachi / conjunto / cumbia / Tejano, country

2. Buena Vista Social Club-- Cuban, Havana jazz,

3. Josh Rouse-- Midwest folk rock, bilingual, Spanish

All three might be considered border music, indicative of music that crosses musical and national borders in order to either find a new audience, or inflect the sound of the music with a mix of new worlds.

This is what I like about it. I confess that I don't listen to much Spanish music, but for whatever reason, it helps me that Josh Rouse is a Nebraskan who is playing music influenced by him living in Spain. Similarly, though I don't listen to a ton of Tejano music, somehow Calexico works for me. Similarly, Buena Vista Social Club, probably because it was brought back together for the recording by the American guitarist Ry Cooder, was also a crossover phenomenon.

Maybe this is simply a habitual exercise in indie rock, to bring into the conversation past masters and other cultures. For example, I didn't own a Loretta Lynn album until Jack White produced a new album for her a couple of years ago, and I didn't listen to Trojan Records reggae until Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead put together a compilation album.

Finally, just as an aside, I always know the kind of music I'm reviewing here will be a popular choice for my own mom, so I buy two copies, one for myself and one for her as a gift.

What's New at Lutheran Forum — Lutheran Forum

What's New at Lutheran Forum

Lutheran Forum
--today, what's new is a brief post by myself on why I'm a confessional Lutheran.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Riff on a Dave Gibbons Prayer

Thank you, God, that you've shown us what love is.
That it is a Word, something expressed and spoken, your Word, which has created all that exists; but it's not just something that is verbal, but alive and incarnate, like your Son, the Word made flesh.

We acknowledge that this love requires getting messy, dirty, and even bloody, and we often fall short of the glory that is this messy, dirty, bloody love.

We wonder what would happen, God, if we realized that surrendering to Jesus means we're going to be tested and be made uncomfortable. Lord, we lack the spirit for that. Give us that Spirit, and the new heart of courage that comes with it.

If we in the church could learn to see the beauty in chaos, because we're learning that the more chaos there is, the more it's about Jesus and not about us. Lord God of fractals, let your chaos map out beauty even when we can't yet see it.

If we could be a part of movements, events, conversations, and moments in which, if we don't exactly know what is going on, we can be content in just trying to keep up with what you might be doing instead of pressing our own agendas. We admit that even praying a prayer like this might be an expression of our own agenda, may especially be the expression of our own agenda. So Lord have mercy.

If we could learn to stop whining, stop trying to be in control, and lead simply with a contagious, abnormal joy. Yes, Lord, let us be completely abnormal in our joy.

If we could be able to live out the gospel in the settings where you place us, no matter how dark or uncomfortable. We may have the most difficulty in living out your gospel when everything around us seems plain and ordinary. Let us see how each moment and place is infused with your grace.

If, when we speak the gospel, our lives could make our words credible. If...

If we could play a part, the smallest of parts even, in helping this beautiful messy thing called the church discover new language, new symbols, and new forms, so she can reach this very new world we are all blessed to be living in.

For you have promised a new heaven and a new earth brought about by the new Adam, and our whole vision of new things now is transfigured by the new you have promised.

So we wait in hope.


Freedom is a Short Sleeve Shirt

The hair on your arms has forgotten
there is wind

and the cool on your skin
is like an open ice-skating rink

Except the ice is weeping
and the snow is in grief

Arms wide-open and swinging
you are a free bird

And your spirit has decided
to write another song of liberty

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Proposed Social Statement on Genetics - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

A Proposed Social Statement on Genetics - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The draft of this social statement will be made available tomorrow, and I look forward to reading it. I think this is a major frontier in terms of Christian ethics, and one that will only grow, not lessen, in importance in the coming year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reading the scriptures as a parishioner presents unique challenges. As a parishioner, we stand in a different place vis-a-vis the text than preachers or church professionals, because our reading is often designed and planned and interpreted for us. We read passively, receiving the text, rather than approaching it with a goal or agenda in mind.

One danger is that we can get into the habit of thinking that someone else reads the text for us, or on our behalf, rather than reading it for ourselves. Instead of asking, "What is God saying to me through this text?" we ask, "What is Pastor [Name] saying to me about this text?" This is a very dangerous habitus, because we come under the illusion that others are reading the text for us, and we aren't called to come to the text ourselves in order to be better prepared to hear the text preached or taught by others. As if God would speak to us only through others and not through our own interpretation and preparation. As if we were incapable of reading the bible because we aren't professionals.

The only way to avoid this danger is for the parishioners to read the bible outside of worship, for their own purposes, and to do it very, very regularly. So parishioners should develop what I think of as a threefold reading of Scripture. It would look like this:

1. Read the bible for personal devotions (following some plan, like a devotional guide, Moravian Daily Prayer, daily prayer office, etc.--these would be shorter meditative passages read for the life of prayer)

2. Read the bible for study and development (possibly with a companion like a commentary, or in company with others, like a small group bible study--these would be longer passages of Scripture, read for the sake of deepening in the biblical story)

3. Read the bible in order to listen well to preaching and teaching (this would be the instrumental mode, reading in preparation for our weekly work of worship and study, like classes we are teaching or sermons we are preparing)

On the third point, I'm reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said that if we go to worship and we don't understand a specific lectionary text very well when it is read out loud in worship, we shouldn't blame the reader or the worship service. The real question is, Why haven't we been reading the bible regularly enough that whatever passage is read would already be familiar and known to us? If we knew our scriptures well, no text read in worship would be so unfamiliar as to be incomprehensible. Maybe challenging or difficult to believe or follow, but not incomprehensible or unfamiliar.

These should also be prioritized in this order. The preparation for hearing preaching should have highest priority, the study second priority, and the devotional third. I know this inverts the normal mode most of us probably engage in (prayers and devotions can be the easiest and most appealing option), but we should keep this order in mind and strive for it. And again, this is important not as an abstract rule, but because the parishioner needs to live out of who they are, which is first of all a member of the body of Christ, not just an individual believer, and if we are inviting our pastors to preach rich and important and faithful sermons, we should be the first out of the gates reading the bible with them and challenging them to trust that there are hearers who know what they are talking about. Not to mention the fact that we need the second two for our own growth in faith, and we need the first two in order to do the third well in any event.