A Christian Minister’s Rewrite of the RNC’s “Christian” Prayer

There's been a whole lot of discussion and (rightful) condemning of the opening statement and prayer from Pastor Mark Burns at the Republican National Convention.To be clear, I've played my part in the condemning.For reference, here is the opening statement and prayer:Of particular concern is that statement, "...our enemy is not other Republicans - but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.""It is particularly concerning that this is being presented as a Christian … [Read more...]

May We Stop Creating God in Our Image [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,We love you.But, the you we love is the you we have created.We love discovering that you are much like us – after all we are created in your image, right?We love those moments when when a piece of scripture confirms the things we long suspected and gives us divine permission to hold on to biases, judgement and even damnation.Unexpected God, break into the “realities” we have created.Confirm within us the thing that our spiri … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (6 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects some of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In Part 6, we look at the difficulty in following God's desires.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here and 4 here and 5 here).When you pray, say… "May we not be severely tested."Like Jesus, in his life and teachings, The Lord's Prayer stirs things up - it is a radical … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (5 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects some of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In Part 5, we think about the connection between forgiveness and forgiving.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here and 4 here).Jesus taught the disciples that prayer should first acknowledge God as “father,” that they (we) should ask God to bring the Kingdom of heaven to ea … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (4 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In Part 4, we think about what it means to ask God to give us our daily bread.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here and 3 here)Jesus taught that our prayers should first acknowledge God as “father,” and that we should ask God to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth through us. He then instr … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (3 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe that it is one of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In part 3, we’re looking at Jesus’ understanding of “the Kingdom,” what it meant to him, and why his interpretation would have been radical.(Read Part 1 here and 2 here)After Jesus had taught his disciples to pray to God as if they were talking to their own father, he turned … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer: DEscription Not PREscription (2 of 6)

In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe that it is one of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. It is mean to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In part 2, we’re looking at Jesus’ name for God, what it means, and why it would have been controversial in his culture.(Read Part 1 here)The very first word of The Lord’s Prayer would have been considered shocking in 1st century Palestine.When the disciples asked Jesus to describ … [Read more...]

Paternal Concerns – A Message on Naming God

A message based on Isaiah 49:8-16.Naming God is difficult at best, divisive even in its mildest form, and can be thought of as sacrilegious at its worst. I was confronted squarely with this reality as I entered Divinity School. I can only begin to tell how excited was was to be accepted into Divinity School at Wake Forest. I had only applied to Princeton, Duke and Wake Forest and quite frankly had low hopes of being accepted into any of them. I still remember the day my acceptance l … [Read more...]

Jesus Responds to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

(Based on and adapted from Matthew 25:34-45, The Message)Then Jesus will say to those on the left, "Enter, you who are blessed by God. Receive what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was hungry, thirsty, homeless and shivering because I was a refugee and you welcomed me … [Read more...]

A Prayer on Letting Go of “Magical” Prayer

Good and gracious God,Not my will, but thy will.Letting go  of prayer that is somehow magical can be a very difficult thing to do.To have the power to change your will, to change you, is appealing  in a most human way.We confess  that our understanding of prayer is slippery and seldom certain.We know what we want it to be, most of the time, but it is so difficult  to grasp it's true potential: not to change you and not specifically to change the world but to … [Read more...]


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