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

September 1, 2018

This week, the lectionary invites us to be weird for a bit, and imagine that God is not a Thesis to prove, an Idea to explain, a Deity to impress, a Lawgiver to obey, a King to worship, but a Lover to know. This week, the lectionary invites us to play with mysticism. My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and… Read more

August 25, 2018

It isn’t supposed to hurt, my yoga teacher said. I disagreed. This is exercise, I told her. Of course it’s supposed to hurt. She shook her head. Pain isn’t the same as effort, she told me. It’s OK to be uncomfortable, but it’s not OK to be in pain. It’s OK to be uncomfortable. It’s OK for new poses to make your legs shake. It’s OK to breathe so deeply that your chest burns, and to hold a pose until you think you… Read more

August 18, 2018

“You can always tell when they’re gonna lift their hands,” he snickered, looking around the evangelical church. “It’s right when the song modulates. Seems like the Holy Spirit always works at the key change!” The implication was clear. They aren’t really feeling the Holy Spirit. They aren’t really experiencing God. It’s just smoke and mirrors, signifying nothing. Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation!… Read more

August 10, 2018

I’m tired of hearing pastors preach that “believing in Jesus” means I’ll never be spiritually hungry again. I’m tired of churches claiming that Jesus is the answer to our existential emptiness, and that once we “accept Jesus,” we’ll never feel distant from God again. Sometimes I’m not just tired of the put-on cheerfulness of church. Sometimes, (gulp), I’m even tired of the Bible. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be… Read more

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