The Adventurous Lectionary – November 9, 2014 -Pentecost 22

The Adventurous Lectionary – November 9, 2014 – Pentecost 22 Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 Psalm 78:1-7 I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Matthew 25:1-13 Today’s readings focus on the practical implications of following the one true God. The objects of our faith shape our character and relationships with others. Believing in God isn’t enough; the type of God who [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – November 2, 2014 – Pentecost 21

The Adventurous Lectionary – November 2, 2014 – Pentecost 21 Joshua 3:7-17 Psalm 1071-7, 33-37 I Thessalonians 2:9-13 Matthew 23:1-12 Today’s scriptures paint various pictures of God’s involvement in the raising up of leaders and in institutional and corporate decision-making. Does our image of God include or exclude those who differ from us, or create [Read More…]

Adventurous Lectionary – October 26 – Pentecost 20

The Adventurous Lectionary – October 26, 2014- Pentecost 20 Deuteronomy 34:1-12 Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 Matthew 22:34-46 Today’s readings point us beyond the individual self to identification with God’s Self and the well-being of others. Letting go of the small ego and its interests awakens us to the grandeur of the universe. Surpassing [Read More…]

Beyond Worry: Living with the Serenity Prayer – A Conversation with Amy Simpson

We are a society dominated by worry. In many ways, North Americans have never been more affluent, protected, and secure. Yet, no people have been more preoccupied by weather worries, despite the warmth of our homes and availability of weather predictions. Germs terrify us despite better hygiene and greater longevity than previous generations. Parents are [Read More…]

Taste & See: Becoming Part of the Advent-Christmas Stories

When I received my copy of Jan Johnson’s Taste and See: Experiencing the Stories of Advent and Christmas for the Patheos Book Club, I did a double take – Advent and Christmas already! Of course, as an earnest senior pastor, aiming at balancing excellence and stress reduction in my ministry and the ministry of our congregation, [Read More…]

Adventurous Lectionary – October 19, 2014 – Pentecost 19

The Adventurous Lectionary – October 19, 2014 – Pentecost 19 Exodus 33:12-23 Psalm 99 I Thessalonians 1:1-10 Matthew 22:15-22 “No one shall see me and live,” so God proclaims God to Moses. God reveals God’s glory to Moses, but it is more than mere mortals can handle, even those like Moses who “walk with God.” [Read More…]

Altars Everywhere: A Conversation with Chuck Swindoll’s “Abraham”

Chuck Swindoll’s Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith paints the life and faith of the patriarch in broad strokes. Swindoll’s text has many inspirational and practical moments. While I might take a different theological approach at many junctures, there is much to commend in his text, especially for the faith formation of conservative and [Read More…]

Adventurous Lectionary – October 12, 2014 – Pentecost 18

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost Bruce G. Epperly Exodus 32:1-14 Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 Philippians 4:4-9 Matthew 22:1-14 This Sunday’s lectionary readings challenge us to orient ourselves toward God’s way rather than pathways of our own making. God treasures innovation and creativity, even coloring outside the lines; yet true creativity emerges when [Read More…]

St. Francis and Saving Christianity – A Dialogue with Historian Jon Sweeney

Jon Sweeney’s When Saint Francis Saved the Church presents a vision of Francis’ message that is as relevant today as it was in Francis’ time. Today’s church needs saving, and so do we. We need to move from pathways of death to thoroughfares of abundant life. We need to choose Jesus over Caesar, and love [Read More…]

Every Moment a Call: Responding to Mark Labberton’s Called

I’ve spent this afternoon playing with my young grandchildren. I’d done a good day’s work at church before picking them up from preschool in the afternoon. As a pastor, teacher, and writer, I spent most of the early part of the day writing a sermon, working on an upcoming book, calling shut-ins, and leading a [Read More…]