March 6, 2016

Lent 4 — Year C — Luke 15:1-3; 11-32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Last week, as I was watching the Oscars, I was thrilled to see Brie Larson take home the award for best actress for her role depicting a kidnapped woman in the film Room. You might not have seen it yet, but the film was one of my favorites of the year in part for the way it defied the conventions of most movies involving the kidnappings. Typically, these types… Read more

March 1, 2016

It’s Super Tuesday. Lots of people are voting today. And if I had to put money on it, I’d bet a large number of people aren’t voting for someone they love, but someone who best reflects their greatest fears back to them. Now, I know some folks will protest such a characterization. Ardent followers of Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton will say they really do believe in their candidates’ messages. Devotees of Donald Drumpf or Marco Rubio will insist they really do… Read more

March 1, 2016

We need to repent of the word ‘repent.’ Shouted from pulpits and street corners, it’s long been a favorite refrain of fire-and-brimstone preachers hoping to provoke fear-induced conversions. Proclaimed to the faithful, it has long been a pious call to the congregation to enumerate, renounce, and turn from their sins. Painted on billboards and signs, it has long been a beloved clarion call for self-proclaimed apocalyptic messengers agitating for the end of the world. REPENT! Jesus, however, didn’t preach repentance…. Read more

February 26, 2016

  Peanut butter smudges against the screen of my smartphone, and I simultaneously mumble a curse and a prayer of thanks that I had the commonsense to get a sturdy case for my phone. Maybe it’s not the best way to handle the stress of my morning, but it’s 6:45 a.m., and I’m wiping peanut butter off my phone while I’m texting and organizing a mission project to respond to recent widespread weather damage in our area. The person on the… Read more

February 17, 2016

Life was merrier when the Christians were still among us, not least because almost every one of their days was the feast of some saint. Little work was done, it seemed, but at least their revelry was infectious. — Iskander the Potter, Birds Without Wings Don’t forget to feast this Lent. In the midst of the almsgiving, praying and fasting that traditionally mark this season, remember also to feast. But only on Sundays. For Christians, every Sunday is a feast… Read more

February 15, 2016

I have a confession to make. I am terrible at Lent. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Lent, like any good priest should. I just happen to be awful at it. Most years, I fail pretty miserably in my Lenten practices. I’ve even been known to throw in the towel early, some time around the third Sunday of the season. Maybe that’s not the most priestly thing to confess, but in my defense, my Lenten practices in the past… Read more

February 12, 2016

  Social media can be a pretty harsh place these days. Death threats, bullying, shaming, and the ever-present Twitter feud. It’s exhausting. Many folks I’ve talked to admit to feeling emotionally frayed, spiritually frustrated, and frankly fearful because of it. And as I was sitting in an Ash Wednesday service, I began to think about how, during Lent, we tend to focus on disciplines IRL. But increasingly, we are living our lives online, as much as 4.7 hours a day in… Read more

February 8, 2016

  Today, I’m pleased to share with you this post from Anna Howell, a long-time reader of my blog and Moonshine Jesus Show podcast listener. Anna is a twenty-four-year-old Episcopalian from Upper South Carolina who dreams of one day getting a postsecondary education in religious studies. In the meantime, she blogs at www.sulfurfreejesus.wordpress.com and is a moderator at the 16,000-member Facebook group Episcopalians on Facebook. Her primary love language is liturgical minutiae. Texts: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8b-13; Luke 4:1-13 By Anna Howell In the… Read more

February 4, 2016

  The Last Sunday After Epiphany — Year C — Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) Right now, we are in a season of seeking power and prestige. With the presidential election season officially in full swing, we see it in almost every news story on the front page or leading the 24-hour news cycle. It’s an all-out race to the top that frequently seems more like a race to the bottom with each candidate vying to be their party’s chosen one for the… Read more

January 17, 2016

  Epiphany 2C — John 2:1-11 In the name of God, who transforms our scarcity and shame into abundance and glory. Amen. One of my favorite children’s stories is an old folktale called Stone Soup. In this story, a weary traveler is hungry, in need of food and a hot meal but she has no money. So she comes up with a clever solution. The traveler puts an empty pot over a fire and places a few stones in the… Read more

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