Gil Kracke

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: No Re-solutions!

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: No Re-solutions!

Luke 13-14 Psalm 50 I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, if only for the simple fact that they are usually a recipe for ambivalence and disillusionment at best, and will often even tend towards disappointment and fantasy.  It is a fantasy to believe that I can look inside of myself and muster the inner … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Gideon and the 300

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Gideon and the 300

Judges 7-9 The book of Judges describes Israel steadily bending further in upon itself—curvatus in se, writ large.  Though there are occasional periods of faithfulness, the book is a steady regression, culminating in the haunting final line:  “In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: His Treasured Possession

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: His Treasured Possession

Deuteronomy 14-16 The first lines of these chapters lifted themselves off the page as I read them.  “You are the sons of the Lord your God. … [and] you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all … Read More

Balaam’s Ass (Hey – that’s what the KJV calls it.)

Balaam’s Ass (Hey – that’s what the KJV calls it.)

Numbers 23-26 As we’ve been reading, things are not going well for Israel.  Members of the founding family are dying off (Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ older siblings, both died a couple of chapters ago); the people are growing restless and are showing their short memories (“Why did you bring us here!  There’s no grain or … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: With Great Haste

Mark 1-2 Psalm 32 Before getting to the first chapters of Mark, what an honest word of refreshment and truth from the psalm today (Psalm 32).  Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  Blessed is something of an … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Law Always Accuses

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Law Always Accuses

Leviticus 13-15 Some of the more interesting chapters, don’t you think? Discharges, diseases, fluids, boils, rashes: something like the stories told in the lounge at a dermatology-urology conference. What are the threads and themes we can discern in these chapters? The priest plays the central role, pronouncing unilateral judgments of cleanliness or uncleanliness. The priest … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: An Oblation

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: An Oblation

Exodus 38-40 In the midst of these chapters, it is easy to lose sight of what’s being said.  The specific instructions describe the Lord’s specific intent of creating a people, separate from any others, chosen by Him and for Him.  Towards this, he describes the instructions to create an altar, its utensils and service pieces, … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Growing Down

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Growing Down

Matthew 18-19 Psalm 15-16 When you think of “growing up,” what comes to mind?  What does it mean to mature, to develop or grow?  As we think of our own development, we nearly always think in terms of progression, and progression nearly always means becoming more (self-)sufficient, more autonomous and able to do things on our … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Farther Down the Rabbit Hole

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: Farther Down the Rabbit Hole

Genesis 37-39 Sex, lies and … more sex and more lies.  These chapters read nearly like the script of a CSI knock-off on basic cable.  Perhaps better, this could be the pilot episode for a reality show simply called Needs. These are gritty chapters, and their grit makes them all the more believable. A favored child … Read More

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Seven Seals

Advent Bible in a Year Blog: The Seven Seals

Revelation 5-6 Proverbs 23 The pace certainly quickens in these chapters of Revelation.  After glimpsing the throne of heaven (!) in chapter 4, quickly are we introduced to other things, seemingly layered in and upon one another.  We behold the paradox that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is also a slain Lamb.  We … Read More