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…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Pentecost – June 4, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – Pentecost Sunday – June 8, 2014 Bruce G. Epperly Acts 2:1-21 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b I Corinthians 12:3b-13 John 7:37-39 The back to back celebrations of Ascension and Pentecost surely give mainline and progressive Christians something to think about. They stretch out imaginations beyond the breaking point, and then center us in [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Ascension Sunday – May 28, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – Ascension Sunday – May 28, 2017 Bruce G. Epperly Acts 1:6-14 Psalm I Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 John 17:1-11 Can we be both heavenly minded and earthly good? Can we have an eternal perspective, embracing the afterlife and also be committed to bringing beauty and justice to our earthly lives? Today’s readings [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017 Bruce G. Epperly Acts 17:22-31 Psalm 66:18-20 I Peter 3:13-22 John 14:15-21 My teacher John Cobb referred to Christ as the way that excludes no authentic spiritual way. In our pluralistic age, as Cobb describes it, we need more rather than less theology. [Read More…]

Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and the Virtue of Doing Nothing

One afternoon, Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh reflected about what happens when a child begins school and starts to grow up. Christopher Robin lamented that he will no longer be able to respond to the question, “What are you doing?” with the words, “Nothing.” Growing up means schedules and commitments and fewer hours for [Read More…]

Why Theologians Need Spirituality and Spiritual Guides Need Theology

One of the most tragic dualisms in contemporary Christianity is the separation of spirituality and theology, reflected in the separation of the congregation and retreat center from the seminary. Over the years, I have found only a few theologians who are committed to regular spiritual practices and integrating their spiritual experiences with their research. For [Read More…]

The Adveturous Lectionary – The Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 14, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 14, 2017 Bruce Epperly Acts 7:55-60 Psalm 31:1-15, 15-16 I Peter 2:2-10 John 14:1-14 On the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the heart of the lectionary readings is John 14:1-14. This reading is both inspirational and challenging. It invites us to reflect on the scope [Read More…]