Praying with Films: A Response to Josh Larsen’s “Movies are Prayers”

In her forties, my mother went back to school to be re-certified in early childhood education. Her first interview after graduation was at a private Christian school. To the surprise of my conservative Christian mother, the principal’s first question was “Do you dance, wear makeup, or go to movies?” She admitted that she didn’t dance [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost – July 2, 2017

The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Bruce G. Epperly Genesis 22:1-14 Psalm 13 Jeremiah 28:5-9 Romans 6:12-23 Matthew 10:40-42 This week’s stories are all challenging. We need to take exception to the story of Abraham and Isaac to be faithful to the God of grace. Following Christ is ultimately about a life-giving lifestyle, not violence or [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Third Sunday after Pentecost – June 25, 2017

The Third Sunday after Pentecost Bruce G. Epperly Genesis 21:8-21 Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 Romans 6:1b-11 Matthew 10:24-39 Today’s scriptures highlight God’s presence in conflict and threat, both internal and external. Fear and violence are not denied, but God’ is faithful. We may need to take a stand, and God is standing with us. Still, to [Read More…]

Privilege and Mindfulness: Responding to Ken Wytsma’s “The Myth of Inequality”

It has been said that the difference between ignorance and apathy is “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Today, many of us struggle with the realities of privilege related to our ethnicity, economics, employment, and gender. We may not want to admit it, but our lives have greatly enhanced by factors that we may [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 18, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 18, 2017 Genesis 18:1-15, Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19, Romans 5:1-8, Matthew 9:35-10:8 This Sunday’s readings connect hospitality, healing, and mission. They ask us and our congregationts to expect surprises when we align ourselves with God’s vision for our lives. In the encounter of Abraham and [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 11, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Second Sunday after Pentecost – June 11, 2017 Genesis 1:1-2:4a, Psalm 8, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20 The First Sunday after Pentecost is identified as Trinity Sunday, and this Sunday has the potential of creating as much theological confusion as clarity. Many of us no longer use the traditional Tridentine [Read More…]

Memorial Day and the Spirit of Sacrifice

I was raised in small town America, where Memorial Day meant parades, flag waving, flowers at the cemetery, and honoring of those who died in service to our nation. We were patriotic, but not jingoistic. We loved our nation, but we recognized that others loved their nations as well. We waved the flag, and affirmed [Read More…]