November 8, 2018

Jesus isn’t messing around today. Beware! the lectionary text begins. The NIV translates this as watch out! Be careful! Keep your eyes open. Danger ahead. As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”… Read more

November 3, 2018

Tithing conjures up images of prosperity preachers hollering at little old ladies to send them their last paycheck so that these old ladies will be mightily blessed by God, one day, eventually, with a tremendous windfall. It conjures up TV evangelists sitting around fireplaces with big hair, surrounded by Southern ladies with even bigger hair, asking for money for their “ministry” that turns out to be their private jet. Tithing is not particularly popular, especially when people telling you to tithe are directly… Read more

October 25, 2018

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked [Bartimaeus]. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. From Mark 10:46-52 Gospel reading for Sunday, October 28 When was the last time you said what you really wanted out loud? Not the things you’re supposed to want, or think you want, or what you were told to want, or what the Fake You… Read more

October 20, 2018

I got very into Job in high school. I was a kid who got “very into” things, that included books of the Bible. My first love was Revelation, because of the dragons. I moved to Ecclesiastes, because of the existential dread. And when I was fifteen, I fell in love with the last four chapters of Job. I printed them out and taped them up around my room – I loved the sea monsters and lightning storms and the way… Read more

October 13, 2018

They told me to read the Bible literally. They said that there were no stories in the Bible, only facts. They told me to read the Bible as journalism and science. They told me anything but journalism and science was liberalism, and that if Jonah didn’t literally get swallowed by a whale, than Jesus wasn’t literally raised from the dead. The Bible must be taken seriously, and the only type of serious writing, writing that matters, is factual reports of factual events…. Read more

October 6, 2018

This week, Chalice Press published Preaching As Resistance: Voices of Hope, Justice, and Solidarity, an anthology of sermons edited by Phil Snider to preachers during this particular political time we’re in today. Below is an excerpt of my introductory piece to the collection, which you can read in its entirety where I originally published it on my blog. You can purchase “Preaching as Resistance” directly from the publisher here, or on Amazon here. This week especially, as many pastors face difficult decisions about… Read more

September 29, 2018

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Esther 7:1-2 Lectionary Text for Sunday, September 30th I am too sad and tired to read Esther today. When the lectionary, in its strange supernatural wisdom, gives… Read more

September 22, 2018

Who opens a container of Oreos and just eats three, the official “serving size” for a delectable Oreo snack? I definitely don’t eat just three Oreos. If I’m lucky, a box of Oreos lasts for three days, but if I had a bad night at work to recover from, or a good night at work to celebrate – the box of Oreos won’t survive the evening. “Your Cravings At War Within You.” Our Epistle lectionary text this week is James 4. “Those… Read more

September 14, 2018

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said… However you come, it’s good enough. Whatever you bring, Jesus welcomes you. Nicodemus is a fool and a coward, and when he shows up at Jesus’ door at 1AM with his face covered so he won’t be recognized, draped in the trappings of his institutional power, asking silly questions and shifting nervously – Jesus… Read more

September 8, 2018

We’re prone to take the healing stories of Jesus very personally. We see the Gospel as Jesus coming to save one person (me), to forgive my sins (which I commit in a bubble), to send me to Heaven when I die. But the Gospel is bigger than Jesus saving one individual at a time. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a… Read more

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