Category: Matt Cook

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on December 21, 2014.

Have you ever tried to do the wrong thing for the right reasons? In the 7th Chapter of 2 Samuel, David says to Nathan the prophet “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent” (2 Samuel 7:2). David, now comfortably settled in a palace in his newly conquered capitol of Jerusalem, realizes that he is living in a place far grander than the God whom he worships. So, setting out to address the imbalance, he has in mind to build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant, so that God too may have a permanent home in Jerusalem. Continue reading

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on December 14, 2014.

Some people have called the book of Isaiah, “the gospel according to Isaiah.” Christians see in its pages a hint of Jesus the Messiah, and while we must always remember to ask first what scripture was saying to its original audience, it can certainly be said that Isaiah returns again and again to the gospel theme of good news. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). What is the best news you’ve ever received? Maybe it was the time that letter showed up in your mailbox and told you that “you’ve been accepted.” Maybe it was the time the doctor looked at you with a smile on her face and said “congratulations, you’re pregnant!” Or maybe it was a very different kind of message from a different kind of doctor—“good news, it’s benign.” The best news almost always arrives in the midst of great difficulty or great expectation; sometimes both. Continue reading

Isaiah 40:1-11

This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on December 7, 2014.

It’s hard for those of us separated by more than twenty-five centuries to understand the enormity of what the people of God were told in Isaiah 40. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed.”  Good news is probably far too anemic a description to encapsulate what these words represented to people whose entire world had been turned upside down. Continue reading

Isaiah 64:1-9

This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on November 30, 2014.

Silence can be hard to take.  That’s especially true when it is God’s silence we’re talking about.  In what many contemporary commentators refer to as “Third Isaiah,” a lament is voiced to God:  “you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins” (Isaiah 64:7).  Continue reading