The Adventurous Lectionary: Epiphany Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lectionary Reflections on Epiphany Sunday – January 5, 2014 Isaiah 60:1-6 Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Ephesians 3:1-12 Matthew 2:1-12 Some congregations will choose to celebrate Epiphany Sunday on January 5, using the readings assigned for the feast of the Epiphany.  This sets the stage for the expansive spirit of Epiphany. Epiphany affirms that God’s revelation is [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Saved by an Intimate God – The First Sunday of Christmas – December 29, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for the First Sunday of Christmas – December 29, 2013 Isaiah 63:7-9 Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23 Salvation is global as well as individual.  This vision is at the heart of the incarnation. The world is saved one person – one creature – at a time.  God’s healing initiative is everywhere and [Read More…]

Vision is Everything: A Response to Robert J. Cormier’s “Better Than We Believed”

I am very appreciative of Robert J. Cormier’s Better Than We Believed (now featured at the Patheos Book Club). Cormier sees faith as a vision which shapes how we understand the events of our lives. Doctrines and dogmas are important, but derivative and somewhat relative in the living of our daily lives. While they may have [Read More…]

The Wisdom of the Hazelnut: A Conversation with Mirabai Starr

It is a great joy to read the words of another mystical author, Julian of Norwich, flowing through the creative and mystical translating of Mirabai Starr.  Her translation of The Showings of Julian of Norwich is exquisite and inspiring. I know Mirabai and count her as a friend, and recognize that her words come from [Read More…]

Angelic Visitations: Physiology or Divinity? Reflections on “The Angel Effect”

Angels are at the heart of the Christmas Season. Gabriel appears to Mary, announcing that she will be the mother of God’s Holy Child. Joseph has two angelic visitations: the first, to tell him that his marriage to Mary is blessed by God; the second, to alert him to flee to Egypt to save the [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for December 15, 2013 (Advent 3)

Lectionary Reflections for the Third Sunday in Advent  December 15, 2013 Isaiah 35:1-10 Luke 1:46b-55a James 5:7-10 Matthew 2:1-11 Healing the World  Advent is a time for hopeful transformation.  Creation and humankind lean toward wholeness; creation groans and so do we.  God is at world in all things, restoring the broken, healing the sick, and welcoming [Read More…]

Continuity and Uniqueness: Reflections on “Jesus: First Century Rabbi”

Scholars, pastors, and laypeople alike are rediscovering the Jewishness of Jesus and the continuity between the first-century Christian movement and the Jewish tradition prior to and following the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, whom we Christians call Christ and Savior. Freed from replacement theories regarding the relationship of Judaism and Christianity and Hebraic spirituality [Read More…]

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…]