Our Genealogy of Water: A Homily for the Baptism of Our Lord

This past week, as I was blearily returning from dropping my kids off at school one morning, a story came on the radio about new DNA tests that help people trace their roots and genealogy with surprising accuracy. The story was mildly interesting, but then as the reporter Eric Weiner was preparing to send his [Read More…]

Not Dead Yet: Saving Sunday School By Returning to its Justice Roots

For many churches, Sunday School programs are in a tailspin. Bloggers have argued that we are at the end of the Sunday School. They’ve written about how Sunday School is responsible for the decline in overall church attendance. And some, sitting in mostly empty Sunday School rooms week after week, have fretted that this is [Read More…]

Inconsistent Scripture: Why the Bible’s Errors Are Actually Good News for Christians

I still remember the first time I realized that not only were there two creation stories in Genesis, but also that they unequivocally contradicted each other. Part of my shock at discovering this was that I had read and re-read those stories so much but had never noticed the difference. The cognitive dissonance was so great that [Read More…]

Revenge is the Ultimate Dystopian Fantasy: A Review of THE REVENANT

Today, I’m excited to host my friend and fellow Episcopal priest Jonathan Myers as a guest film reviewer. We had planned to see this film together, but I unfortunately got sick the day before. I’m thrilled, in a way, because it means I get to share with you Jonathan’s provocative insights into the new DiCaprio [Read More…]

Unspeakable Joy, Unbearable Tragedy: Christmas, Incarnation, and Holy Innocents (A Homily for Christmas 2C)

Christmas 2C — Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 A few months ago, I let my spouse read a draft of a sermon I wrote and, when she was finished, she just shook her head.  “Don’t you ever preach on anything happy?” she asked me. I began to protest, but she stopped me. “Just once,” she said, “would it [Read More…]

The Subversiveness of Gentleness in a Time of Violence and Terror

Advent 3C — Philippians 4:4-7 — Lectionary Reflection “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Gentleness isn’t really a quality we value in our culture. When we think of qualities we want to put on a resume, gentleness isn’t typically the first one on the list, if it even comes to mind. Think about it [Read More…]

What Does Fear Lead To?: A Homily on Star Wars, Yoda, and John the Baptist

Advent 3C — Luke (Skywalker?) 3:7-18 Advent 3C — Luke (Skywalker?) 3:7-18 I have been waiting for this particular week in December for more than year. That’s because this weekend, the new Star Wars film finally debuts. See, I’ve been a huge fan of the original Star Wars trilogy my entire life. In fact, my [Read More…]

The Tragedy of the Syrian Samaritan: A Parable Retold in Times of Terrorism

There was once a governor who was traveling and was beset by terrorists on the road. They bombed his motorcade and left him for dead on the roadside. Now, by chance, a fellow conservative politician was passing by and saw the wreckage of the terrorist attack. Angered and disgusted, he immediately made plans to ban [Read More…]

God Our Midwife: Birthing Peace from Violence and War

Proper 28 — Mark 13:1-8 There will be wars, and rumors of wars, and wars that will shake the foundations of the world and your faith in humanity. There will be death. There will be disaster. There will be all manner of things in this life to rattle your soul. There will be worry, anxiety, [Read More…]

6 Reasons Why Ben Carson’s Tax Plan is NOT Biblical (The Exploitative Politics of the Widow’s Mite)

Mark 12:18-34 — Proper 27 The widow’s mite is a symbol of economic exploitation, not of sacrificial giving. The widow is not an icon of generosity, but a victim of the wealthy. Long a favorite of religious professionals during stewardship season, the point of the story of the widow isn’t that she had faith enough to [Read More…]


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