Everything Must Change: Paradise

Genesis 2:5-17; 3:1-7 Controversy is swirling in conservative Christian circles this week over the release of the movie based on the best-selling book, The Shack.  The book, originally self-published by author William Paul Young in 2007 has sold more than 10 million copies and been translated into over thirty languages. Of course there’s a movie! [Read More…]

Overcome by Faith

Matthew 17:1-9 Transfiguration Early in my career I was responsible for planning and leading a women’s retreat.  I made up a carefully detailed schedule and lists of preparations that began the very first night with an ice breaker.  We went around the room and everyone was asked to describe and demonstrate, if possible, a special [Read More…]

The Hardest Commandment

Matthew 5:38-48 This week the senior staff spent a day and a half in intensive staff development.  This is notable, because we rarely have occasion to spend this much time all together in one place, and honestly most of us came into the experience pretty sure it would be a waste of time and definitely [Read More…]

Executive Order

  Matthew 25:35-40   My name is Max Wolff. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz. My name is Siegfried Wilmersdörfer. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Belgium. My name is Regina Blumenstein. The US turned me away at [Read More…]

Together

Exodus 1:8-20; Matthew 4:12-23 Here’s what I learned this week: sometimes being nasty is the same as being holy…and protest can be prayer. I returned late last night from a long day at the women’s march in Washington, D.C.  If you’re surprised to know I went, you should be.  This past week here at church has [Read More…]

Beloved

Matthew 3:13-17 A few years ago I went to a wedding shower at which all the guests walked in the door and someone slapped a nametag on our backs.  As an icebreaker we had to talk with folks and try to find out who our “match” was at the party.  I was delighted to finally [Read More…]

Again, A Meditation for Christmas Eve

(**This meditation was inspired by Bishop Will Willimon’s column Christmas: Herod in Trouble) Well, here we are, and it’s Christmas Eve, again. On the edge of yet another year, we hear the ancient story read, picture a peace-filled stable scene, and open our hearts to hope that all that sweetness we imagine in the story’s [Read More…]

What Will Save Us

Luke 1:68-79 I don’t know how it was at YOUR house on Thanksgiving Day, but at my house growing up, Thanksgiving was one of those Norman Rockwell kinds of holidays . . . at least my Mom did her very best to make it seem so. I remember my Mom getting up very early in [Read More…]

God Showed Up: A Meditation for the Day After

  Today I walked into the building and got in an elevator with a group of about 12 Columbia students attending class in our building.  They were tense and silent, and then I said to them: I’m so sorry.  Several of them began to cry. Something happened in our country yesterday that goes far beyond [Read More…]

What Lies Within

2 Timothy 2:8-15 With all due respect to all you brilliant academics out there, I have to tell you today the most important lesson I learned when I was finishing the dissertation for my doctoral work: sometimes it’s not exceptional creativity, deep and profound insight, or even all that much intelligence that gets you to [Read More…]