Palm Passion Sunday – Hosanna

HorseShark_PalmPassionSunday

What an awkward day this past Sunday was, Palm Passion Sunday. Or maybe that’s just how I feel about Palm Passion Sunday.The tumblr feed EV'RY DAY I'M PASTORIN'… imagines Palm Passion Sunday like this:<http://everydayimpastoring.tumblr.com/post/114771705131/palm-passion-sunday>That awkward blending of two things that just down seem to go together.  A shark and a horse.Is that what you think of when you think of Palm Passion Sunday?  On the one hand celebrating the trium … [Read more...]

Lenten Peace in Israel

dream

Today There are three big things in my cultural-religious mind going on today. Today is St Patrick's Day. It is also Lent. And it's Israeli Election Day.  First, St. Patricks's Day. With a maiden name like Riley O'Brien, each year on this day I try to feel a sense of connection to my Irish roots. And I never do. I've never been to Ireland and I don't even drink. Instead, observance of St Patricks Day for me is usually something closer to shuffling into my closet and thinking, "Shoot! Why don't … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Black History Month and the Lenten Season

Loving God, who reigns on Earth as it is in HeavenFather God Whom the prophet Isaiah called the Mother of Zion,We come to you with humble and contrite hearts,Asking for the repentance of our sins, both known and unknown,Forgive us for our sins as well as forgive those who sin against us.We pray that we can experience reconciliation, truth, and peace,You, Oh God, are the God of Life, the Spirit of FreedomYou are the God of Moses, and the prophet Miriam, Harriet Tubman, … [Read more...]

“Flipped” About Lent & Resurrection

flipped

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of lengthening, stretching ourselves, as we journey toward celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.Lately I've been thinking about an idea that has stretched me further, lengthened me. And, luckily, it has a roundabout connection to the Resurrection. So I'll share it with you.Last night my friend, and pastor, Doug Pagitt, hosted a book release party for his fantastic new book, Flipped:The provocative truth that changes … [Read more...]

Killjoy Prophets: Shalom, Palestine and our Uncle CUFI

"O Little Besieged Bethlehem" artwork by Ramone Romero

Merry Christmas from the Killjoy Prophets! We love the holidays as much as anyone. Sure, we don’t love the rampant consumerism or the fruit cake, but we love giving gifts, baking, singing Handel’s Messiah, reading the Magnificat with family, and feasting with friends. We even love mixing it up occasionally with our toxic uncle whose political views we find troubling. Sometimes we just down an extra drink and let him ramble on, sometimes we go to another room, but sometimes you just have to throw … [Read more...]

God Chooses the unexpected

She turned out not to be one of the bookies favourites, indeed no-one had heard of her. She wasn’t someone glamourous or famous from the capital city who was chosen, but a very ordinary woman from an obscure northern town. Well I’m talking about Mary the mother of Jesus who turned out to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah, but I could have also been talking about the Revd Libby Lane, the person who is about to become the first female Bishop in the Church of Eng … [Read more...]

Advent, Anticipation, Agnostic. Touch me — Let’s Give Birth to Ourselves, conjunto

a dark birth

Knowledge has always fascinated me.  How do we know, what do we know, how are belief patterns established?  What I am primarily interested in is knowledge (and the production of knowledge), not so much belief.  And so, in the spirit of the Christian Liturgical season of Advent (where there is a focus on hope, anticipation, and remembering that God was born of Mary), I say on this early Advent morning:  I just don’t know.  I don’t know that God was born.  I am not in anticipation, nor do I hope.   … [Read more...]

A Highway of Liberation: A #BlackLivesMatter Sermon for Advent

BlackLivesMatter

The past month has made it abundantly clear that black people in this country suffer the fate of the exiled: those who live in an Empire as conquered, imprisoned, displaced, and invisible to the dominant institutions of power. What does Isaiah’s prophecy to the exiles of his day have to say in our moment?Raymond Arsenault tells the following story in his book Freedom Riders: The Supreme Court had ruled against segregation in interstate travel and facilities, and yet no one had tested how t … [Read more...]

This Advent, Think Different. What Is GOD Waiting For?

be the change

It’s Advent again. This is the time, leading up to Christmas, when we reflect upon the thousand storylines of prophecy through the centuries that moved in solemn procession toward that One climactic event; the incarnation, the birth of Jesus. We reflect upon the convergence of those storylines culminating in this one Messianic babe. Every sacrifice, from Abel’s altar to the last Passover lamb before the Passion, paved the Messiah’s path. Often, during Advent we use this time to refle … [Read more...]

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

Baby Jesus

I used to know it all. I used to have it all figured out. I had answers for almost everything – including backup answers in case my first answer was insufficient. My “life-verse” was first Peter 3:15, which served as my motivation to “always be prepared to give an answer.”I used to be obsessed with knowledge. In fact, at times I would fall into despair if I came across a problem I could not figure out. I looked at external sources of knowledge (such as philosophy and science) as ways to bolst … [Read more...]


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