#StayWokeAdvent, Ferguson & Apocalypse: A Lectionary Reflection

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Follow #StayWokeAdvent contributions here and add yours, too! Oh that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence — As when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes the water to boil — Isaiah 64:1-2a  Advent 1B The fires of justice have been kindled in the [Read More...]

The Breaking of the Bridesmaids: Rethinking a Problematic Parable (Lectionary Reflection)

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Matthew 25: 1-13 | Proper 27 | Year A (When the gospel is read, have different readers interrupt the gospeller with the italicized verses of Scripture. Visually, either have the disrupters stand, almost in protest, and remain standing through the reading. Conversely, have the disrupters process behind and surround the gospeller.) At that time the kingdom of heaven [Read More...]

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown, Who Do You Say that I Am?

Image by Shirin Barghi. Follow her on Twitter: @shebe86

Year A — August 24 — Matthew 16:13-20 — Proper 16 Who do you say that I am? A looter. A criminal. The falsely accused. Who do you say that I am? A rule breaker.  A deranged man. A demon. Who do you say that I am? A son. A beloved. A man. Who do [Read More...]

‘Send Them Away’: A Homily for the Loaves and Fish (Proper 13A)

Mosaic of loaves and fishes at the Church of the Multiplication in the Holy LandFlickr Creative Commons Copyright James Emery

Proper 13 — Year A — Matthew 14:13-21  When I was on pilgrimage in the Holy Land earlier this year (thanks to the incredible generosity of my bishop and diocese), we stayed in small pilgrim’s hotel not far from the site where today’s story is said to have taken place. For 1,500 years, Christians have [Read More...]

Let Them Grow Together: On Gaza, Migrants, Refugees, Wheat and Weeds (A Homily)

Creative Commons Copyright Bradley P Johnson (Flickr)

Proper 11 — Year A — Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 A few weeks ago, I asked my boys to help me pull weeds in the garden. For me, I have been trained over 33 years to know what’s a weed and what’s not. I can look at my tiny plot of dirt and I can see [Read More...]

Dirt is Resurrection and God is a Bad Farmer (Homily for the Parable of the Sower)

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Year A + Proper 10 + Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 I love dirt. I love the way it smells early in the morning, still damp with summer dew. I love the way it feels between my toes when I walk on it after the sunsets, the warmth of the stars still radiating through the soles of [Read More...]

The Hope in Our Wounds: A Homily for Easter 2A

[Open with dialogue with congregation about wounds] Some wounds never really heal. When I was a journalist, it was my job to bear witness to these kinds of open wounds that life inflicts on the unsuspecting. Like the mother who welcomed her son home in a flag-draped coffin. Or the parents of the teenagers who [Read More...]

Holy Saturday and Harry Potter: On Tombs, Thestrals, and the Descent into Hells

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In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, author J.K. Rowling introduces readers to one of the singular best magical creatures ever created — the thestral. These magical creatures — compared to something like skeletal horses — are invisible to most, save those who have looked upon death, understood it and internalized it. Thestrals [Read More...]

Disciples in the Darkness: Joseph of Arimathea, Loss of Meaning, and the Last Words of Jesus (A Good Friday Homily)

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Good Friday — John 18:1-19:42 — Psalm 22 — Isaiah 52:13-53:12 It is finished. How do you hear these final words of Jesus tonight? Is his voice exhausted and trembling as he walks through the dark doorway of death? Is there relief in his words as he realizes the long ordeal of his arrest, torture, [Read More...]

An Antidote to Anxiety: A Homily for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day Homily — Matthew 6: 25-33 (Due to confusion at my parish, in the Prayer Book, and in the BCP iPhone app, I ended up preaching the Thanksgiving lectionary for Year B rather than Year C).  I’ll never forget the first day my wife went back to work after we had our first son. [Read More...]


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