Practicing Advent: A Guide for Parents and Families

Reclaim the Gifts of Advent. Cultivate Empathy and Kindness as forms of Hope and Patience. Fight Back Against Current Traditions of Fear and Consumerism. Advent Calendars, traditional and digital Traditional Advent calendars, featuring small chocolates or treats like tiny Lego constructions for each day, have long been favorites for this season. There are all sorts [Read More…]

Liberation Keeps the Sabbath Holy (A Homily)

As a former high school and collegiate track athlete, I have been joyously immersed in the Olympics this week, watching and re-watching historic performances from sprinters like Usain Bolt in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and like Wayde van Niekerek who shattered the world record in the 400-meter dash. But as I watched these races [Read More…]

Lost Pietà

  She had lost him three times now. Sitting in the cramped upper room that smelled of stale fish and spilled wine, she looked at his friends, his friends who knew him better than her, his own mother. Who loved him better than her, too. His death sharpened her memories of him into something more [Read More…]

The Good News of Division

Jeremiah 23:23-29 + Hebrews 11:29-12:2 + Luke 12:49-56 As the father of two young sons, I can’t say that I’m thrilled with today’s gospel text, much less to have to preach on it and reflect on it all week long. Quite frankly, in ways both large and small, there’s enough division in the world right [Read More…]

Good News in a Shampoo Bottle

This is every sermon you will ever need to preach or hear.It’s hope from a sink, wisdom with wet hair.  It’s good news from a shampoo bottle. There’s pain, and grace, and beauty. It reminds me of Maundy Thursday, but with washed hair instead of feet. Watch the whole thing. It’s worth every minute. [Read more…]

The Worst Prison Escape in History (A Homily for Easter 7C)

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C — Acts 16:16-34 — John 17:20-26 Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C — Acts 16:16-34 — John 17:20-26 Today, in our text from Acts, we read about what is quite possibly the worst attempt to escape from prison even recorded. I know this might be a bit of an [Read More…]

‘Influence Without Responsibility’: An Interview with Morgan Guyton about Toxic Christianity

I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Morgan Guyton, author of How Jesus Saves the World From Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity. It’s an engaging and challenging book, and Morgan is refreshingly honest in it and in his answers to my questions below. I definitely recommend his book. My only criticism is that [Read More…]

Building a Bridge to God’s Kingdom

Awhile back, I hosted a beautiful sermon by the Rev. Erin Phillips on the Syrophoenician Woman and the Syrian refugee crisis. Now, several months later, I am even more honored to share the amazing, faithful, incarnated work she and Mennonite pastor Ryan Dueck have been doing in their small town of Lethbridge. Soon, the town will have welcomed 300 Syrian refugees, thanks [Read More…]

Epic Lenten Failures and the Idolatry of Independence (A Homily on Tempation)

I have a confession to make. I am terrible at Lent. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Lent, like any good priest should. I just happen to be awful at it. Most years, I fail pretty miserably in my Lenten practices. I’ve even been known to throw in the towel early, some time around [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…]