The Doorposts of the Heart

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Bo (Come)
The entire portion is Exodus 10:1—13:16

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds.
This year, we read Part 2. Exodus 11:4—12:28

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Passover is the central festival for us as Christians and Jews, since it describes that primary move of God that resulted in our ancestors nor longer being slaves in Egypt. Passover is the paradigm for our freedom. It is during this festival that Jesus, the true Paschal Lamb was sacrificed. His is the blood of the covenant that truly sets us free.

In 12:22, the Lord prescribes that hyssop, a shrub-like plant, be dipped into the blood of the lamb, and be smeared on the doorpost of the house. It is hyssop that was dipped into vinegar and brought to the lips of Jesus on the cross (John 19:29-30). This detail of John is not without meaning. Then Jesus exclaims, “It is finished.” Jesus won complete freedom for us by shedding his blood on the cross. Smear the doorposts of your heart with the saving blood of Jesus.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

The Never-Ending Fire

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Shemoth (Names)
The entire portion is Exodus 1:1—6:1

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds.
This year, we read Part 2. Exodus 3:1—4:17

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


It is about 1,450 BCE. God is going to deliver his people from slavery in Egypt. What God brings about becomes the symbol of all activity of God on behalf of human freedom.

It begins with Moses. He had placed himself in voluntary exile in Median, because of murder. Something makes him curious…a bush burning without being consumed. It is there that God reveals God’s name. Yahweh, the covenantal name for God, is difficult to translate. It means, “I Am the One Who will Always Be with You.”

God is the One present to you in all your circumstances to liberate you through the fire of the Holy Spirit. May this Firestarter be a match that the Lord uses to set the never-ending fire of God’s love in your heart. With the Lord present to you, no pain, hurt or abusive past need ever consume you.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

The Power of Blessing

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Vayhi (And He Lived)
The entire portion is Genesis 47:28—50:26

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds.
This year, we read Part 2. Genesis 49

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Jacob Blesses Joseph – by Harry Anderson

The nearness of Jacob’s death is the moment of blessing for his sons. It is a powerful moment of transition, a sacred “passing of the torch” to the next generation. Picture yourself at the deathbed of Jacob, listening carefully to the words he says to his sons. Such words have power for generations.

Perhaps you are not a parent; but you certainly had one! The beliefs and attitudes you have for your children, and the ones your parents have for you, are powerful moments of force in you and the lives of your children. So often, these beliefs are negative. They lack the spiritual awareness of blessing that is present in full evidence in this reading.

The words: “God bless you,” said as reflexively as a sneeze, need to become conscious. Say them this way, slowly: “God bless you!”


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

A Vision in the Night

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Vayiggash (And He Approached)
The entire portion is Genesis 44:18—47:27

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds.
This year, we read Part 2. Genesis 45:28—46:27

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Schnorr von Carolsfeld – 1860

Jacob receives a comforting and wondrous vision from God during the night. This is the seventh time that God has spoken of the covenant—twice to Abraham, twice to Isaac, and now the third time to Jacob. Jacob is reassured about the promises of the Lord; he will see his son Joseph before he dies.

Respect the power of the night. When you awaken during it, turn to the Lord who wants to share with you the intimacies of the covenant God offers to you in Jesus through the Spirit. All the great revelations that God made to patriarchs and prophets are gathered in Jesus. The Lord wants to speak to your heart and tell you of the love, plans, and promises held out to you. Take time to listen to God with a pure, open heart—day or night.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

In God’s Time

Saturday – The Torah reading
Genesis 41:53—43:15

All the years of Joseph’s trusting in the Lord come to fruition at this moment of meeting his brothers. They have come to Egypt in search of food. What restraint Joseph exhibits as he recognizes them, but does not reveal himself! Think of what he might have said to those who had sold him into slavery. He keeps silent about that. God uses him to bring ultimate joy to his family. Though we may not understand the long delay and the trips of his brothers to Canaan and back—all the territory covered in the Exodus—the suspense only serves to heighten the coming moment of total recognition.

Be patient. The Lord is working out all the details in God’s own time of reconciliation with those with whom you may be estranged. Seek to do God’s will


Saturdays are dedicated to the Torah


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Ancestor of Jesus

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Vayeshev (And He Settled)
The entire portion is Genesis 37:1—40:23

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds. This year, we read Part 2. Genesis 38

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Around this time of the year for over 2500 years, Jewish people have been proclaiming these readings. For the first time they are integrated into a sequence of readings for Christians. Think of the power of this as we join our Jewish brothers and sisters as they lift the scroll each Sabbath and chant these stories! This is the Torah— God’s precious communication with us.

This story fits well in Advent, for with Tamar, we have a direct ancestor to Jesus. Tamar’s son Perez was an ancestor to David. (Matthew gives the list in chapter1.) Jesus came from the family of David.

Look what the Lord does with the sinfulness and intrigue of ancestors! The Lord can use everything and everyone. In your family tree, you probably have some with a “shady past.” The Lord can use them for good.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

What’s In a Name?

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Vayetze (And He Departed)
The entire portion is Genesis 28:10—32:3

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds. This year, we read Part 2. Genesis 30:14—31:16

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

The narrative continues with the births of more of Jacob’s sons and one daughter. Names of children in Hebrew are derived from some circumstance surrounding their births.

Naming is important. If you are a parent, you will recall the careful thought you gave to the naming of your children, perhaps to remember your own parent or grandparent. Jewish people never use the name of God directly, because naming gives power over whom or what is named. Naming God, we have “power” over God, which would be blasphemous in the Hebrew mind.

If you were to give names to the members of your family associated with divine intervention and blessing in their lives, what would those names be? Such names could be the focal point for prayer for each family member.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families