Soot, Stones, and Stewardship: A Homily for the First Sunday in Lent

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  Today, I’m pleased to share with you this post from Anna Howell, a long-time reader of my blog and Moonshine Jesus Show podcast listener. Anna is a twenty-four-year-old Episcopalian from Upper South Carolina who dreams of one day getting a postsecondary education in religious studies. In the meantime, she blogs at www.sulfurfreejesus.wordpress.com and is a moderator [Read More...]

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

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  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...]

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

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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...]

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

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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

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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...]

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

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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...]

What Job and God Learn From Each Other: Prophetic Grief Meets Prophetic Beauty (A Homily)

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Proper 24 — Job 38 — Year B Earlier this month, a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a community college in Oregon, millions of Syrian refugees fled a bloody civil war where thousands have been killed, and we were reminded again that there have been more gun deaths in the United States since [Read More...]

The Way of Cold Water: A Homily on the Hyperbole of Heaven and Hell (Mark 9:38-50)

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Year B — Proper 21 — Mark 9:38-50 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. — Jesus Like many who grew up in the evangelical Protestant church, I lived out [Read More...]

The Identity Crisis of Christ (Lectionary Reflection Mark 8:27-38)

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Proper 19 — Year B — Mark 8:27-38 Ever since his baptism, Jesus’ world had simultaneously expanded and crumbled. It had all started so promising, with the Spirit descending like a dove, the voice from the heavens declaring him the Beloved Son. It was a public declaration of his identity he didn’t take lightly, despite [Read More...]

Crumbs: Jesus and the Ethnic Slur (Lectionary Reflection, Mark 7:24-37)

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Year B — Proper 18  — Mark 7:24-37 Jesus uttered an ethnic slur. To dismiss a desperate woman with a seriously sick child. In this week’s gospel text, in the Black Lives Matter era, I think we have to start with that disturbing and disorienting fact. Our immediate response likely is, “Of course not! Jesus couldn’t possibly have [Read More...]


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