February 17, 2019

They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 The children of the evangelical movement are tired. We’re burnt out by church and “small groups” and hip tattoos, with sold-out stadiums and Christian “influences,” with sermons that are riddled with cliches… Read more

February 10, 2019

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him. Luke 5:10 Lectionary Gospel text for February 10th, 2019 My coworker at the bar forgot to finish their side-work again and I am raging mad. Maybe this sounds like an overreaction. I’m sure it was. But working in close quarters with the same dozen people for 40 hours a week… Read more

February 3, 2019

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. Luke 4:21-30 This week in the lectionary, Jesus almost gets thrown off the mountain by an angry mob who wasn’t pleased with his preaching. Jesus shows up at his local synagogue, and everyone is delighted that the hometown boy has made good, and eagerly awaits special favors from the son of Joseph. He’s from here! We’re “his people”! His miracles here will be even more magnificent than everywhere else!… Read more

January 26, 2019

We’re in the “season after Epiphany,” an in-between moment of Ordinary Time after the feast of Epiphany and before Lent. It’s Ordinary Time –  but maybe with a tad more celebration. In this celebratory Ordinary Time blip, Jesus publicly announces in the synagogue that he’s the Messiah, and what his vocation means to the world. Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began… Read more

January 20, 2019

They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. Psalm 36:8, for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany “I have run out, and it is my fault, and I ruined this wedding.” I wonder if anyone at the wedding at Cana was about to get in trouble for not stocking enough wine for the party. Maybe the father of the bride, a well-meaning uncle, a hired ancient wedding planner, or… Read more

January 13, 2019

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 Luke takes his sweet time getting to the baptism of Jesus. Matthew and Mark move swiftly to the beginning of Christ’s ministry, but Luke meanders. He tells us about Jesus’ parents, and Mary sings a song, and then Jesus’ aunty Elizabeth sings a… Read more

January 6, 2019

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem. Matthew 2:1 I was the nerdy kid at the justice conference sticking out like a sore thumb. It was a conference of activists , and at the time, I was just a kid who wanted to get a PhD and nerd out over old texts in dusty libraries. But in the front row of the breakout session, the session… Read more

January 2, 2019

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 New Years Day lectionary text On New… Read more

December 30, 2018

And the angel said unto them, Fear not! for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people! A bunch of confused folks showed up to church this morning, heard Christmas carols, and were ready to hightail it out again. We already *did* Christmas. It’s done. We survived, and now it’s time to get on to the next thing. But the Church year, the old pathway of marking spiritual time, isn’t ready for us to… Read more

December 17, 2018

I sat on the couch across from my spiritual director, looking at the painting of the Annunciation. Mary is sitting on her bed, white bedclothes gathered and spilling onto the floor, and a bright light filling the room. She looks so gentle and submissive. Submissive Sister Mary. I never really felt very kindred to Mary as a kid. I’m big, and noisy, and never had the “gentle and quiet spirit” that some parts of the Bible seem to be annoyed… Read more

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