The Adventurous Lectionary for October 27, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for October 27, 2013 Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 14-16; Luke 18:9-14 Anne Lamott asserts that the essential elements of prayer are “Help, Thanks, and Wow.”  Today’s readings involve a litany of praise – a spiritual “wow” at the many ways God moves in our lives and the world.  God is always at work [Read More…]

Order and Novelty in Family Spirituality: A Response to Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home

A well-known saying from Zen Buddhism notes: “Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.” Although deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, this is the essence of Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Family: A Spirituality of the Home. Quite often in life, the issue [Read More…]

What Kind of God are we Playing? A Response to Andy Crouch’s “Playing God”

“Power is a gift” says Andy Crouch in his excellent new book Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power. Our use of power can either create or destroy, and power that leads to flourishing, Crouch notes, is grounded in our relationship with God. Crouch believes that the use of power is inevitable and can be good, and [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for October 20: Prayer, Scripture, and the Law of our Being

Lectionary Reflections for October 20, 2013 Jeremiah 31:27-34 Psalm 119:97-104 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 Luke 18:1-8 Today’s lectionary readings could easily inspire three different sermon trajectories.  The insightful preacher may choose to reflect on themes such as: 1) the meaning of divine law and its relationship to our well-being, 2) the inspiration of scripture and its role [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for Oct 13, 2013: Hope in Challenging Times

Lectionary Reflections for October 13, 2013 Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7; Psalm 66:1-12; 2 Timothy 2:8-15; Luke 17:11-19 Today’s readings require much interpretation. They point to the energetic movements of God in all things.  They also suggest that God may be using pain and suffering as a tool of growth. On the positive side, God is not confined by space [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for October 6, 2013: Aiming High!

Lectionary Reflections for October 6, 2013 Lamentations 1:1-6; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10 This week’s lectionary is filled with challenging passages.  The Hebraic scriptures speak of national desolation and its impact on the faithful.  They challenge our belief in a God who is exclusively on our side.  The New Testament passages challenge us to [Read More…]

The Cost of Discipleship, Bob Fu, and “God’s Double Agent”

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once spoke of the phenomenon of “cheap grace” and contrasted it with costly discipleship. Cheap grace refers to those who claim to be Christian, but make no significant life changes as a result of their faith. They reap all the benefits of society and see faith as going along with the prevailing [Read More…]

Illness and Aging as Spiritual Issues: A Response to David Jeremiah’s What Are You Afraid Of?

I wonder if I will have the courage to trust God, believing, with the Apostle Paul, that as my body diminishes, I can continue to soar spiritually. [Read more…]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Imaging Hope in Times of Uncertainty – September 29

Lectionary Reflections for September 29, 2013 Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15 Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16 I Timothy 6:6-19 Luke 16:19-31 Today’s scriptures present both challenge and hope.  They root our hope in our relationship with God.  Those who commit themselves to God’s cause can imagine futures and act on their imagination, even if the arc of imagination goes beyond [Read More…]

Spirituality and Social Transformation – Responding to Occupy Spirituality

Adam Bucko, who, along with Matthew Fox, is author of Occupy Spirituality, asserts: “All social movements, across generations, need spirituality.  A solid spirituality is one that enables people to energize their moral imagination, to make their motives conscious, and to use and deepen their talents to give birth to a new tomorrow.”  These are good [Read More…]