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

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)

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…]

Peace is Not Tranquility (A #WGFest2015 Lectionary Reflection)

  Lectionary Year B — Proper 11 — Mark 6:30-34; 53-56 On Saturday, my youngest son and I spent an afternoon carefully stacking a half-dozen rocks that had been worn smooth and elliptical by the French Broad River that eddied around our knees.  The swift river and its small pockets of whitewater drowned out the world around us [Read More…]

Taking Liberation without Permission: Bree Newsome, #BlackLivesMatters, and the Hemorrhaging Woman (Lectionary Reflection)

Proper 8B — Mark 5:21-43 The woman with the hemorrhage didn’t ask permission. She didn’t wait until the appropriate time. She had suffered long enough. So she took her liberation into her own hands. She broke the rules. And became free. It reminds me so much of Bree Newsome, the courageous activist who took matters [Read More…]

When God Sleeps through Storms (Lectionary Reflection on Theodicy for Mark 4:35-41)

Proper 7 — Year B – Mark 4:35-41 “Even the wind and the sea obey him,” the awestruck disciples say. Just minutes before, they had been in the most terrible storm of their lives. Out on the open sea, the storm had threatened to swamp the disciples and their boat. They were terrified. Completely undone [Read More…]

The Divine Protest of Pentecost: The Politics of Language and Respectability (Homily for Pentecost, Year B)

The God of Pentecost doesn’t have an official language. This is the shocking revelation of the day of Pentecost, but one often  lost amid the day’s more bombastic metaphors of rushing winds, descending doves and intoxicated disciples with tongues touched by fire. But in a country with a history of suppressing other languages in the [Read More…]

When Things Fall Apart: The Theodicy of Jesus, Judas, and Betrayal (Lectionary Meditation for Easter B7)

John 17:6-19 — Year B — Easter “Except the one destined to be lost.” In that one tiny clause, Jesus attempts to explain away his failure, the one given to him but was lost. The one that got away. Judas Iscariot. His betrayer. His disciple. His friend. Earlier in John, Jesus had explained exactly what [Read More…]

The Shepherd Who Casts Us Out: A Homily for Good Shepherd Sunday

Easter 4B — Good Shepherd Sunday — John 10:1-18 The Lectionary only offers a selection of the Good Shepherd discourse this week, but I have included verses 1-10 as well. This homily was written with collaboration and reflection from two the high school students at my local parish. Be honest, when you heard the readings [Read More…]

The Grief of Peter: A Good Friday Soliloquy (Homily)

I think a lot about that night, the night the soldiers came. In the quiet, I can still hear their steady footfalls approaching, that rhythmic shuffle of their metal breastplates, spear, sword, and shield. When I close my eyes, I can still see their torches blazing like evil eyes warning of coming misfortune. And I [Read More…]

BREAKING NEWS: Protests Turn Violent in Jerusalem

Temple Protests Turn Violent Angry Rioters Smash, Loot Local Businesses Jerusalem — Authorities are searching for the leaders of an anti-government protests that turned violent yesterday, disrupting Jerusalem’s annual Passover observance. The leader of the unauthorized and anarchist demonstration, Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth, is wanted on suspicion of vandalism, looting, disturbing the peace, and [Read More…]


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