Mary, Martha, and the Only Meal Jesus Cooked (Lectionary Meditation)

Lectionary 10C — Luke 10:38-42 Jesus spent his entire life talking about meals, presiding over meals, and distributing them. He ate enough to be accused of being a glutton and received enormous hospitality from a variety of homes. In fact, he made receiving hospitality a central tenet of his disciples’ sending and an icon for [Read More…]

Demons and Demonization: Jesus, Sirius Black, and the Gerasene Demoniac

  If you’ve followed me on social media or had a conversation with me in real life, chances are you know I’m a little obsessed with Harry Potter. My kids are obsessed, too, and we each have our own Hogwarts costume. I once held a massive Harry Potter lock-in as a youth minister, complete with [Read More…]

Welcoming Wonder and Curiosity: Lessons from a Comic Shop for the Church

I have loved comics for as long as I can remember being able to read. What started with a mail subscription to G.I. Joe ballooned into an infatuation with The Mighty Thor (and the panoply of Norse Gods) and a growing collection of unopened Toy Biz X-Men figurines from the early 1990s. My room as an elementary [Read More…]

Keep Christianity Weird: The Trinity, Mermaids, UFOs, and Holy Strangeness

Keep it weird. From Portland and Boulder to Austin and Asheville, “Keep It Weird” has become a rallying cry for local culture in an increasingly mass-produced landscape, a full-throated embrace funky individualism that ironically forges strong community. Of course, to really find the misfit and funky expressions of humanity, you have to move beyond the [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…]

When You Love Your Enemy

When You Love Your Enemy to the Point of Doubting Your Lord by David R. Henson Now the Eleven had once been Twelve. So when the One who had hung on a tree returned without the one who had swung in a tree some of them doubted. Only a traitor could have made them whole. Image Credit: “Oak [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…]

Faith is Like Laughter

Faith is like laughter. It doesn’t have to be real to have a real effect. Even if it’s fake, laughter still helps lift our spirits, relieves our burdens, and joins folks together. Even if it’s completely fake and forced, it still somehow winds up being real anyway. Kinda like faith. Several years ago, as a journalist, I attended [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…]

Judas Lives! (What’s So New About Jesus’ New Commandment to Love One Another?)

Easter 4C — John 13:31-35 — Lectionary Reflection  One of the curious things about Jesus’ new commandment he gives to the disciples is that it doesn’t really seem all that new. It’s something that frustrates me every Maundy Thursday when we read this story, this idea that serving others and loving others is somehow a [Read More…]