Season of Disaster

This week we bore witness to yet another tragic natural disaster. Tornadoes ripped through the Midwest killing dozens of people, many of them children just starting their lives. In October 2012, we saw Hurricane Sandy kill at least 125 people and inflict at least $62 billion in damage. The storm also killed 71 people in [Read More…]

Grace is a verb

We made it through Easter and now Pentecost. Jesus is raised; the Church is born anew. We all deserve a vacation, don’t you think? Well done, good and faithful servants. I have been pondering what it means to live as a good and faithful servant ever since Lent. At Virginia-Highland Church, we hosted a foot-washing [Read More…]

Lullaby of Unconditional Love

During a recent sermon, I read one of my favorite stories to the congregation. It is a book by Robert Munsch called Love You Forever. It tells of a mother who watches her son grow up through the years, longing to express the incredible love that all good parents feel for their children. In the [Read More…]

He is praying for us

Last Sunday, we read from the Gospel of John. The text is a bit convoluted, a bit mystical, and simply amazing. The placement of this passage is weird in the flow of the lectionary texts. We made it through Holy Week, crucified Jesus, raised him, and were journeying with him through the days following his [Read More…]

When is a Death Not a Death

The Dalai Lama says that, while he knows nothing about death, not having died, that he imagines it a “new outfit, a new set of clothes.”  Wordsworth the poet said almost the same thing, “death is moving into a new room.”   Jesus people say, “O Death, where is thy Sting?”(I Corinthians 15:55) We know that [Read More…]

Wise vs. Smart

I have a friend who is amazingly wise. He is probably reading this, but he will have no idea that I’m talking about him. I also have a couple of friends who are staggeringly smart. One is one of the world’s leading art experts and can lecture in multiple languages. He has probably forgotten more [Read More…]

Mother’s Day

This Sunday is, of course, Mother’s Day. (You didn’t forget, did you?) It is a great Hallmark holiday, but not one of the holy days of the church. Many churches celebrate the day, and for many mainline churches Mother’s Day is the second most-attended Sunday. I quit observing Mother’s Day in church a long time [Read More…]

The Third Way

When a crisis or conflict comes our insecurity too often causes us to see our response in terms of fight or flight. Jesus invites us to consider a third way. Rather than the dualism of villain/victim, right/wrong, winner/loser, children of God refuse to dual. Instead, we choose the path of living as a peace-maker. A [Read More…]

Indignant Jesus

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me.”  Mark 10 Have you seen this picture or one like it?  I’ve seen it in a lot churches – usually [Read More…]

Will Steger

Have you ever heard of Will Steger? I first read about him in Bob Dotson’s book American Story. Dotson tells the story this way: Will Steger is an adventurer, a man who seeks out places where no one has stepped foot before. He has travelled to the coldest places on earth where it hits 70 [Read More…]