Craig Smalley

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Death of Moses

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Death of Moses

Deuteronomy 32-34 [above: Death of Moses, Alexandre Cabanel, c. 1851, click picture for larger image] The days of Moses draw to an end and a new day begins for the people of Israel. Moses shares God’s words of blessing to his people and the baton of leadership is passed to Joshua, the son of Nun. … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Lord Is in the Details

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Lord Is in the Details

Numbers 1-4 Naturally when the blogging began my hope was to write on as many censuses and genealogies as possible. I mean how gripping is a warrior census? The thorough listing of the twelve tribes and their leaders…the repeated enumeration of the number of men over twenty years old available for battle… 603, 550, we’re … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Scapegoat

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Scapegoat

Leviticus 16-18 What does it mean to be the holy people of a holy God? How can this begin to be accomplished when we are perpetually sinful and impure? How can an impure people approach a holy God? Is there hope for those who, as Saint Paul would later write, do the things we don’t … Read More

Haman and Ahasuerus visit Esther - Rembrandt

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Tables Are Turned

Esther 7-10 With chapters 7-10, so concludes the brief, wild ride that is the Book of Esther. This book’s inclusion in the canon of scripture has caused debate among Jews and Christians alike, perhaps not surprising considering it would, due to violence and sexual content, easily merit an NC-17 rating were it a movie. Some, … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Of Things Not Seen

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Of Things Not Seen

Ezekiel 46-48 To begin this reflection I borrow from the letter to the Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” At the end of the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel has likely been prophesying to the people in Babylonian captivity for twenty years. Significantly, considering the roller … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Those Were the Days?

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Those Were the Days?

2 Chronicles 7-9 As I write this article I can’t seem to shake the sound of Archie and Edith, of All in the Family fame, singing, “Those were the days.” Indeed, for the people of Israel, this surely must have felt like the golden age. For twenty years Solomon had built the temple, the house … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Don’t Let Them…

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Don’t Let Them…

Galatians 1-2 Psalm 110-111 As one of my friends prepared to depart for Seminary another of my friends said to her, “Don’t let them take the cross away from you.” Those were words of wise counsel that pertain to Galatians 1 and 2. It’s safe to say that the Galatians have found Paul’s buttons and … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Word of Warning, Word of Welcome

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Word of Warning, Word of Welcome

Isaiah 46-48 A word of warning and a word of welcome go forth in these two chapters of Isaiah. A word of warning to those who live as if there is no God and a word of welcome to those whose trust is in the Lord. The peoples spoken of are the Babylonians and the … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Big One – Psalm 119

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Big One – Psalm 119

Psalm 119 Martin Luther described the Psalms as a tote bag of the Bible, a full expression of the human experience in the interaction with and worship of God. Others have described the psalms as the grammar of how to speak to God and as the reality of life as it relates to living in … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Inexhaustible Grace

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Inexhaustible Grace

Hosea 9-11 Soooo, in case there’s any doubt, Hosea, and more importantly, the Lord, is not thrilled with the behavior of the people. Chances are when you read, “you have played the whore” (Hos. 9:1), you picked up on that. Score Hosea an “A” for honesty and clarity. Hosea ministered during one of the most … Read More