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...]

Christmas Eve, Incarnation, and Knowing Mary

"Church in the Moonlight" - Photo by Lisa DeWeese

The setting was perfection.  Large gothic sanctuary, slate floor, wooden pews with iron candle holders, a hundred soft flames gently illuminating the space. Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday were the only services conducted by candlelight. The stunning chancel window glowed, Jesus with angels surrounding him, the Ascension. Hundreds of organ pipes framed the rose window in the back.  Timpani, brass, and the choir looked out high above the congregation.I used to wait the entire year for it.  T … [Read more...]

Sacred, Pregnant Waiting

Advent. This time of year has always been somewhat sacred to me.Despite the fact that I live in Minnesota, and I hate winter.Despite the fact that Christmas in the United States is pretty much just a celebration of consumerism.Despite the fact that I haven't identified with Christianity for quite some time.I think it's the mystery of it all. The unknown, the waiting for something that hasn't yet happened but is so palpable you can nearly taste it. This year, it is especially … [Read more...]

Pursuing the Peculiar

Russell Rathburn

There is of course the notion that we all want to find points of connection—we want a big tent, we want a broad-way. It has been a hallmark of this thing of ours, that it is okay to be you, and it is okay for me to be me and we will find a point where we connect and let us celebrate that.And I celebrate that.But what I am really interested in is the points where we diverge. Where we do not quite line up. I want to see the peculiar and the particular in you and I want you to see the p … [Read more...]

Interview with Mike Stavlund & an Easter Poem

It was another busy week on Doug Pagitt radio. We had a chance to chat with Weber grill aficionado, professor, and author Mike Stavlund about his new book A Force of Will: Reshaping Your Faith in a Year of  Grief. Victoria also shared a poem for Easter. We even had a guest call in to give us a post out-patient procedure update.Here's the audio:Here's the video: … [Read more...]


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