January 15, 2016

We thought it was a prank, honestly. We weren’t thrilled to have been conscripted as servants for the wedding just because we were too young to sit with the adults and to old to sit with the children. But our parents told us that we weren’t like the wealthy families who hired servants so when we had weddings, we all pitched in to celebrate the marriage. So when the man from Galilee told us to fill up the jars to… Read more

January 10, 2016

This past week, as I was blearily returning from dropping my kids off at school one morning, a story came on the radio about new DNA tests that help people trace their roots and genealogy with surprising accuracy. The story was mildly interesting, but then as the reporter Eric Weiner was preparing to send his test off, he said something so profound he nearly caused me to run a red light in my minivan. “Hopefully in the next few weeks,”… Read more

January 8, 2016

For many churches, Sunday School programs are in a tailspin. Bloggers have argued that we are at the end of the Sunday School. They’ve written about how Sunday School is responsible for the decline in overall church attendance. And some, sitting in mostly empty Sunday School rooms week after week, have fretted that this is simply the new normal, an indication of our churches’ future in the United States. Some suggest that extracurricular activities and sports programs are to blame, siphoning off… Read more

January 4, 2016

I still remember the first time I realized that not only were there two creation stories in Genesis, but also that they unequivocally contradicted each other. Part of my shock at discovering this was that I had read and re-read those stories so much but had never noticed the difference. The cognitive dissonance was so great that I actually took a sheet of paper and sketched a rough chart detailing what was created on each day in the two stories. Of course,… Read more

December 31, 2015

Today, I’m excited to host my friend and fellow Episcopal priest Jonathan Myers as a guest film reviewer. We had planned to see this film together, but I unfortunately got sick the day before. I’m thrilled, in a way, because it means I get to share with you Jonathan’s provocative insights into the new DiCaprio film The Revenant.  By Jonathan Myers When I walked out of a movie theater on a Wednesday afternoon after having the privilege of previewing The Revenant,… Read more

December 28, 2015

Christmas 2C — Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 A few months ago, I let my spouse read a draft of a sermon I wrote and, when she was finished, she just shook her head.  “Don’t you ever preach on anything happy?” she asked me. I began to protest, but she stopped me. “Just once,” she said, “would it kill you to preach on, you know, sunshine and butterflies?” Since then, “sunshine and butterflies” has become both a running joke and our code for… Read more

December 13, 2015

Advent 3C — Philippians 4:4-7 — Lectionary Reflection “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” Gentleness isn’t really a quality we value in our culture. When we think of qualities we want to put on a resume, gentleness isn’t typically the first one on the list, if it even comes to mind. Think about it the candidates for president right now. Do any of them — from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders — really embody the idea of gentleness? Would… Read more

December 13, 2015

Advent 3C — Luke (Skywalker?) 3:7-18 Advent 3C — Luke (Skywalker?) 3:7-18 I have been waiting for this particular week in December for more than year. That’s because this weekend, the new Star Wars film finally debuts. See, I’ve been a huge fan of the original Star Wars trilogy my entire life. In fact, my lucky socks may – or may not – feature Yoda and R2-D2 on them, and I may – or may not – be wearing them… Read more

November 18, 2015

There was once a governor who was traveling and was beset by terrorists on the road. They bombed his motorcade and left him for dead on the roadside. Now, by chance, a fellow conservative politician was passing by and saw the wreckage of the terrorist attack. Angered and disgusted, he immediately made plans to ban immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. Pulling out his iPad, he changed his social media profile picture. There, standing amid the still-burning cars, he began to draft… Read more

November 14, 2015

Proper 28 — Mark 13:1-8 There will be wars, and rumors of wars, and wars that will shake the foundations of the world and your faith in humanity. There will be death. There will be disaster. There will be all manner of things in this life to rattle your soul. There will be worry, anxiety, fear, hatred, racism, injustice, terrorism. There will be wars and rumors of war, but it is not the end of the world. The world ends… Read more

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