What a delight marriage is! And what a joy these eight years of marriage to Stacie have been. This poem celebrates that.

July 30, 2013

Eight: the number of the years
Since face to face we spoke
The vows that made a covenant
That we will not revoke.

By the goodness of our God
The Two left One for life,
As I became the husband to
The woman now my wife.

For these eight the joy has been
A fountain overflowing,
Full of blessings undeserved,
With love and laughter growing.

The story we have lived for years
Is part of something greater:
A union of the Church and Christ,
The Bride and her Redeemer.

May our daily lives together
Show and tell this Story,
As we await the Wedding Feast
With Christ the Groom in glory.

Calling the New Israel in the Land of the Old

In Matthew 4, two stories are juxtaposed (4:12-17 and 4:18-22) that show us one of the goals in Jesus’ earthly ministry: he intended to raise up a new Israel.

Old Israel consisted of 12 tribes, so Jesus chose 12 disciples. He began his selection in Matthew 4. The location was significant too: “territory of Zebulun and Naphtali” (4:13). Those names came from two of the 12 tribes.

Then, “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother . . . And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ ” (Matt 4:18-19). After leaving there “he saw two brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother . . . and he called them” (4:21).

What is Jesus doing in Matthew 4? Launching his public ministry. Part of this launch will mean beginning a new Israel, so in land tied to the history of the old Israel he summons fishermen. These men will be part of the crew who serve as a new community, a group of disciples, a New Twelve.

In the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, Jesus calls out Simon, Andrew, James, and John. In the soil of the old Israel, he begins to summon the new.