The Life Tradition versus the Death Tradition in Christianity

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A man died. The people who knew him gathered to share memories. Finally, a portrait was commissioned. But as generations passed, the painting did not seem fine enough. The heirs of the portrait, who had become wealthy, created a new golden frame, immense, carved with motifs from the portrait and encrusted with jewels. People began to feel that the old portrait of that dark fellow with the haunting eyes pulled the effect down. As it began to peel from age, they extended the frame inward. One day … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Subversive Donkey Ride (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Palm Sunday)

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In Mark’s fast-paced style, we see three different days of Holy Week in chapter 11 alone. The first eleven verses are what we celebrate as Palm Sunday. But in verse 12, we see a clue (the words, “On the following day”), which indicate that the events regarding the fig tree and the aggression against the Temple happened the next day. Monday continues through Mark 11:19, where we read that, “when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.” And in verse 20, Mark lets us know that Tu … [Read more...]

Sermon Series Retrospective: “The Gospel According to Mark”

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During Ordinary Time in 2010, we studied The Gospel According to Mark. The following are the sermon titles and a brief excerpt of the content. Most of the sermon titles are links to the full manuscript. Some of the earliest sermons in this series are not online, but copies are available on request:"What Is the Good News of Broadview?" (Mark 1) The only reliably effective way of growing a church is for the current members of the church to tap into their existing social networks. As continue t … [Read more...]

Is Jesus the “Human One”? A Lectionary Commentary on Mark 8

Jesus does not echo Peter’s title “Messiah,” but instead refers to himself as “the Son of Man.” Why do many Christians almost exclusively emphasize Jesus Christ, neglecting a title Jesus repeatedly calls himself: “Son of Man?” What does this term mean?And are you on the path to becoming a fully alive human being like Jesus was? I invite you to explore further in my 600-word lectionary commentary on this week’s Gospel lesson in my new post at [The Hardest Question] on “Is Jesus the 'Human One? … [Read more...]

What Happens to Those God Loves? (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Feb 26)

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9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." 12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 14 … [Read more...]

A Progressive Christian Explores Healing Prayer: A Spiritual Practice for Preaching Mark 1:40-45 (Lectionary Commentary for February 12)

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Although I do not know anyone personally with leprosy, much less anyone who has been healed of the disease, I will nevertheless seek to explore some of what it may mean for twenty-first century, progressive Christians that both Jesus and his early followers regularly practiced various forms of healing prayer.There are a number of entry points into this scripture that we could consider.  Some of the more comfortable methods of interpretation might be to turn the focus away from ourselves and … [Read more...]


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