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…]

Lenten Disciplines for Social Media: Creating a Better Web Together

  Social media can be a pretty harsh place these days. Death threats, bullying, shaming, and the ever-present Twitter feud. It’s exhausting. Many folks I’ve talked to admit to feeling emotionally frayed, spiritually frustrated, and frankly fearful because of it. And as I was sitting in an Ash Wednesday service, I began to think about [Read More…]

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

  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)

  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…]

Water into Wine, Stones into Soup: The Miracles at the Wedding in Cana (A Homily)

  Epiphany 2C — John 2:1-11 In the name of God, who transforms our scarcity and shame into abundance and glory. Amen. One of my favorite children’s stories is an old folktale called Stone Soup. In this story, a weary traveler is hungry, in need of food and a hot meal but she has no [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…]

A Letter from Birmingham: MLK, Bernie Sanders and the Black Church

Today I’m hosting my friend Cara McClure as a guest blogger. Cara is an activist, business owner, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Magic City chapter. This does not represent an endorsement of a candidate for me. Our Dear Alabama Clergy: In 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote A Letter from a [Read More…]

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

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…]

Not Dead Yet: Saving Sunday School By Returning to its Justice Roots

For many churches, Sunday School programs are in a tailspin. Bloggers have argued that we are at the end of the Sunday School. They’ve written about how Sunday School is responsible for the decline in overall church attendance. And some, sitting in mostly empty Sunday School rooms week after week, have fretted that this is [Read More…]

Inconsistent Scripture: Why the Bible’s Errors Are Actually Good News for Christians

I still remember the first time I realized that not only were there two creation stories in Genesis, but also that they unequivocally contradicted each other. Part of my shock at discovering this was that I had read and re-read those stories so much but had never noticed the difference. The cognitive dissonance was so great that [Read More…]