The Adventurous Lectionary: The Second Sunday of Advent — John, Jesus, and Spiritual Friendship

Lectionary Reflections for the Second Sunday of Advent December 8, 2013 Isaiah 10:1-11; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12 John is a major figure in our Advent Adventures. Still, little is known about the relationship of Jesus and John the Baptist. According to tradition, when Mary the mother of Jesus meets her close relative Elizabeth, John leaps in [Read More…]

Preaching as an Adventure of the Spirit: A Response to David Lose’s Preaching at the Crossroads

Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once described worship as an adventure of the spirit.  The same judgment could apply to preaching as well: preaching is also an adventure of the spirit especially when we are at the crossroads, dealing with a changing world and changing images of preaching and spiritual leadership. David J. Lose’s Preaching at [Read More…]

Aging and Full Humanity: A Conversation with Johann Christoph Arnold’s “Rich in Years”

I have just passed my sixty-first birthday. It seems like almost yesterday I was going to love-in’s in Golden Gate Park and partying with surfer girls and high school mates in Santa Cruz, California. Whenever we chat on Facebook, my friends from the James Lick High School (San Jose, CA) class of 1970 reminisce about [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The First Sunday in Advent – December 1, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for December 1 2013  Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm 122 Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:36-44 Advent awakens us to visions of a glorious future.  We hear of God’s aim for history, and recognize that the fulfillment of God’s aim is always partial.  God does not fully control the historical process but inspires the evolution of persons [Read More…]

Living with Less: Responding to Susan Vogt’s Blessed by Less

As I read Susan Vogt’s Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly, I was confronted with the challenges of living simply in a complicated world. While I don’t live extravagantly or have fewer professional demands than many urban and suburban parents with children, twenty-first century middle class living is extravagant and cluttered [Read More…]

Pondering Providence: Responding to Robert Tracy Knight’s “The First Thanksgiving”

Robert Tracy McKenzie does a masterful job of liberating the pilgrims from the cultural and economic myths that often disguise their faith and practices in his new book The First Thanksgiving. He sees them as God-centered people, leery of religious holidays, and focused on covenant with God and one another. The pilgrims were inspired by [Read More…]

Bonhoeffer’s Vision and Process Theology

A Response to The Bonhoeffer Reader, edited by  Clifford J. Green and Michael P. DeJonge Few theologians have responded as creatively and forthrightly to the postmodern challenge as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer recognized the pluralistic, multi-centered, experience-oriented world of our current religious landscape. He imagined an emerging Christianity, no longer at the center of culture, but [Read More…]

Charles Eistenstein, Saving the World, and the George Bailey Principle

For over forty years, I’ve celebrated each Christmas season by watching It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m sure I’m not the only who has to reach for a handkerchief in the course of observing George Bailey’s adventures in self-discovery. Overwhelmed by financial failure and the frustrations of daily life, Bailey contemplates suicide until he is confronted [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013

Lectionary Reflections on The Reign of Christ Sunday November 24, 2013 Isaiah 23:1-6; Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43 Universality and Intimacy  Can we talk about Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday in a pluralistic age? At first glance, there is something anachronistic about claiming Christological superiority in a postmodern age of seekers, multiple faiths, [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Divine Creativity and Human Agency – November 17, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for November 17, 2013 Divine Creativity and Human Agency  Taken together today’s lectionary readings proclaim that God is active and innovative, working toward a realm of wholeness encompassing humanity and the non-human world and so should we.  God is involved in world-transformation, and so should we.  God’s agency inspires our own agency and [Read More…]