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...]

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...]

Chasing the ‘Christian vote’

BNP Jesus

November saw the mid-term elections in the US and the Rochester by-election here in the UK. in both cases the subject of Christian voting has surfaced. This is no surprise in the US, the Christian vote has been a factor for a while and this has been highly organised when it comes to a right wing agenda through groups like the moral majority or more recently the Tea Party movement. So analysis by organisations like Reuters … [Read more...]

Prayer as Cracking Shins on Altars

Part 1 of 6 in a series on prayerReligious folks all too often relate to God through divided categories: sacred/secular, church/world, body/soul, matter/spirit, purity/impurity. This comes from a religious vision in which encountering God can only take place for certain people in certain places under certain conditions. The word “holy,” for example, has often designated beliefs or practices that are divided or “set-apart.”Take the ancient Judaism of Jesus' day. In those times, the entire … [Read more...]

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts about the Church

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Many of us in the emergent conversation have left institutional Christianity. We do not trust institutions and are suspicious of hierarchies. Our personal histories and experiences of Christianity are filled with the frustration caused by the disconnect between the truth claims of our religious Christian institutions and their actual lived existence. We have seen how much energy and money is spent in the maintenance of our institutions, instead of the mission of Jesus. Some of us have been … [Read more...]

An Interstellar God

stars

Yes, I am unashamedly referencing the movie, but that's because I can't get it out of my head. I have always been a fan of space. I love sci-fi. I love planets and stars, supernovas and galaxies. I love the images, the imaginations, the hope of people who long to see what is beyond the rock we call home. Interstellar is an amazing display of what those things could be like and I found it breathtaking.Even though people are arguing over whether the movie is good or not, and are analyzing the … [Read more...]

“Kill the Commentators” and if you have time the propositionalists too

soren kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard series PART THREE  The Soren Kierkegaard (SK) series has sought to present some of the major theological/cultural concerns associated with the philosopher/theologian in light of our current situation in protestant Christianity. Although SK lived more than 150 years ago his thought is just as relevant today, perhaps even more, than when he first wrote.In Part one I gave a brief introduction to SK as a Christian thinker who has been significantly misunderstood and … [Read more...]

Walk Towards the Light

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A week ago Sunday I led an Adult Christian forum between services at a Denver church with a real heart for social justice. My topic was “The Gospel Imperative to Do Social Justice: Living into God’s Vision of Shalom.”I chose two Bible verses to highlight:ISAIAH 1:17 (NRSV)                         learn to do good;                    seek justice,                         rescue the oppressed,                    defend the orphan,                         plead for the wi … [Read more...]

You can’t give it up, can you?

church

Several years ago, after what I thought was a horrible ordination process, I decided to leave the church.  It was a weekday when I decided that I would never step back into the church.  The only problem was that I was serving as a chaplain in a level II trauma center outside of Chicago, IL, so I had to be confronted with normative Christian discourse and theologies that I found to be hugely problematic.  But, nonetheless, I decided to leave.  I had completed my undergraduate degree in rel … [Read more...]

re-imagining God

homeless

in recent news an image of Jesus from the 4th century was found in Spain on a glass plate. This made the headlines not just for it's age but because Jesus is pictured in Roman style with no beard and in a toga. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29480874 there are actually similar images in mosaics in Britain in Roman villas converted into early churches.  now i think we can be pretty certain that whatever Jesus looked like as a 1st century Palestinian Jew he did not look like a … [Read more...]


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