Adventurous Lectionary – Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 1, 2015

The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany – February 1, 2015 Bruce Epperly Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 I Corinthians 8:1-13 Mark 1:21-28 Today’s readings may seem irrelevant to many congregants. In mainstream and progressive churches, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about unclean spirits, the authority of prophets, or food sacrificed to idols. Our [Read More...]

Is God a Seahawk Fan? God’s Will, Sports, and the Randomness of Life

If God is for us, who can be against us? So wrote the apostle Paul nearly twenty-one hundred years ago. (Romans 8:31) I’m sure that Paul had no idea that his affirmation of God’s sovereign faithfulness to persecuted Christians would be invoked to explain the outcome of next Sunday’s Superbowl. But, to many fans, God [Read More...]

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Conversation with Tony Kriz’s “Aloof”

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Life is full of synchronous moments. After our congregation’s Tuesday noon Bible Study, I took a reading sabbatical to finish Tony Kriz’s Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God who Hides. We had been studying Colossians 1:15-20 and reflecting on the author’s vision of a god who is both cosmic and intimate. The god described [Read More...]

Practicing Compassion with Frank Rogers and Bernard Loomer

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This post is part of a discussion on the new book Practicing Compassion, by Frank Rogers, Jr. For more conversation, visit the Patheos Book Club here. Claremont School of Theology is my theological and spiritual home. At Claremont, I studied theology and philosophy of religion, received my ministerial training, and met my wife Kate. Like [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 25, 2015

Third Sunday after the Epiphany Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 I Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 Today’s lectionary readings invite us to embrace change, whether it involves our vision of God, personal plans, or way of life. It’s difficult to preach about Jonah without retelling the legend in its entirety. Jonah has earned the title the [Read More...]

Heavenly Dust – A Response to Eben Alexander’s “Map of Heaven”

Hassidic spiritual leader Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Pershycha once noted that “Every person should have two pockets. In one pocket, there should be a note that says, ‘for you the world was created.’ In the other pocket, there should be a note that asserts, ‘you are dust and ashes.’” These two quotes capture the interplay [Read More...]

The Baptism of Jesus – January 11, 2014

The Baptism of Jesus – January 11, 2015 Genesis 1:1-5 Psalm 29 Acts 19:1-7 Mark 1:4-11 Today, we celebrate the waters of grace and healing. We rejoice in the waters of the womb of creation, incarnate in our mothers and in Mother Earth. As Masaru Emoto has theorized, water is the blueprint of reality, far [Read More...]

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany – January 18, 2015

Second Sunday after the Epiphany Samuel 3:1-10 Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 I Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51 There is a joke among members of my denomination, the United Church of Christ. When we announce “God is still speaking,” usually someone responds, “But is anyone listening.” Today’s scriptures are about listening for the voice of God and God’s [Read More...]

Epiphany Sunday – January 4, 2014

The Adventurous Lectionary – Epiphany Sunday – January 4, 2015 Matthew 2;1-15 The Second Sunday of Christmas will also be celebrated as Epiphany Sunday in many congregations. Accordingly, it is appropriate to focus on the spiritual pilgrimages of the magi and the holy family’s flight to Egypt. In both cases, geographical journeys shape spiritual journeys [Read More...]

A Christmas Meditation: It’s All About a Baby!

Christmas Eve 2014 – “It’s All about a Baby” It’s all about a baby! Not just any baby, but at the same time every baby. The birth of the Christ child is not just the property of Christians. John’s gospel proclaims that this child is the light of the world, and that the light of [Read More...]


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