July 8, 2017

A Story of the One Who Hears and Understands The Washington Post carried a story today, by Stephanie McCrummen, about a Moslem doctor and his family who have been living in Dawson Minnesota for five years now. Ayaz Virji, 42 years old, and his wife Musarrat had been charmed by the welcome the town gave them three years before, when they were looking for a place to raise their three children, a place where Ayaz could practice what he calls... Read more

June 10, 2017

Process and Method, Not Currying Favor and Not Begging It’s an odd mixing of metaphors that leads Jesus to empower his disciples, in Matthew’s telling. They are like lost sheep without a shepherd, Jesus remarks about the crowds who come out to hear him. And whether he is saying this to himself or to his followers, we really don’t know. What he does say to his followers is, The harvest is ready but the harvesters are few. So pray God... Read more

June 7, 2017

Our Miserable Public Conversation If it is written down, it’s called “libel” whereas if it’s spoken, it’s called “slander.” Libel and slander are both forbidden forms of speech, within the terms of defamation law in these United States. And, according to the Free Speech Primer at legalzoom.com, Defamation Law attempts to balance the freedom of speech and open exchange of ideas that are our Constitutionally given rights, without giving someone permission to run around spreading lies about you that may harm your... Read more

June 5, 2017

The One World Vision Within Trinity The tale of the Spirit descending on a crowd of strangers in Jerusalem argues for globalism. In fact, it is an unequivocal embrace of globalism. Here is a atory of God’s vast spiritual power, given in an embrace of strangers and enemies, given in an embrace of widely divergent cultures and faiths, given in the name of Jesus, whose lifetime embraced divergent and despised people and who, in resurrection, has promised his followers spiritual... Read more

May 27, 2017

There’s a disconnect between Jesus’ invocations of the Spirit in John’s gospel, and the way we’ve always understood them. And the disconnect has taken on a neon glare in the world right now. And the thing is, the world right now is very much like the world Jesus walked around in, the first century world where fumbling the political football was causing a lot of unrest, and yes, even terrorist acts.  The first century world, where the expected replacement for... Read more

May 20, 2017

Trump’s ‘Largest Arms-sale Deal in US history’ Blocks Relief for Starving Yemenis Donald Trump flew away from Washington to Saudi Arabia yesterday, and the worries flutter through the news. Will he sleep well enough not to be cross? Will his speech, written by known anti-Moslem speechwriter Stephen Miller, insult Moslems? Will the investigation into Russia-ties in his administration interfere with the negotiations? But the biggest worry may not be getting any attention at all. Mark Pocan, Democratic Representative from Wisconsin,... Read more

May 17, 2017

“That they may all be one” – the motto of the United Church of Christ, my denomination, is derived, in part, from this week’s text – John 14: 15-21. Here John describes the gift of the Spirit, not as a dramatic Pentecost of descending doves and flames, but as spiritual intimacy. Spiritual intimacy. Intimacy so complete that the believer, still living in this world, becomes one with Christ, who dwells in another world. And this intimacy includes God, with whom... Read more

May 13, 2017

Donald Trump’s Paranoia The shock waves of this week have not yet subsided. One CNN commentator’s image, that President Trump set out a landmine and then stepped on it himself, seems apt. And all the pros and cons for firing James Comey, and all the oohs and aahs over the changing statements explaining why, have been reported endlessly. I want to explore the President’s description of Comey as a ‘showboat’ and a ‘grandstander’, and his announcement that it was for... Read more

May 9, 2017

How Prosperity Values are Redefining America and Christianity CNN’s Jake Tapper, in a recent interview about the GOP health care plan with Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, elicited these words from Brooks: “The plan] will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool, and that will help offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep... Read more

May 6, 2017

A Mother’s Day Reflection on John 14 It’s with some irony that I read the Mother’s Day gospel: “in my Father’s house are many rooms . . .” And the irony deepens considerably when, in this week, which after all proclaims a room for everyone – the devout and pious Christians in our government have used their power to pass a health care bill in which all aspects of maternity care are declared to be pre-existing conditions, rape is declared... Read more

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