The Temptation of the Transfiguration: On High Places, Presidential Politics, and the Glory of God (Lectionary Reflection)

  The Last Sunday After Epiphany — Year C — Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) Right now, we are in a season of seeking power and prestige. With the presidential election season officially in full swing, we see it in almost every news story on the front page or leading the 24-hour news cycle. It’s an all-out [Read More…]

Water into Wine, Stones into Soup: The Miracles at the Wedding in Cana (A Homily)

  Epiphany 2C — John 2:1-11 In the name of God, who transforms our scarcity and shame into abundance and glory. Amen. One of my favorite children’s stories is an old folktale called Stone Soup. In this story, a weary traveler is hungry, in need of food and a hot meal but she has no [Read More…]

The Prank at the Wedding in Cana

We thought it was a prank, honestly. We weren’t thrilled to have been conscripted as servants for the wedding just because we were too young to sit with the adults and to old to sit with the children. But our parents told us that we weren’t like the wealthy families who hired servants so when [Read More…]

A Letter from Birmingham: MLK, Bernie Sanders and the Black Church

Today I’m hosting my friend Cara McClure as a guest blogger. Cara is an activist, business owner, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Magic City chapter. This does not represent an endorsement of a candidate for me. Our Dear Alabama Clergy: In 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote A Letter from a [Read More…]

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…]