Trees to Climb: Luke 19:1-10

*This reflection is taken from the Peace Mennonite 2021 Lenten Devotional When we are kids, we color pictures of a guy sitting up in the branches of a tree. But when we get older, we know that the really important part of the story comes at the end. When this very wealthy tax collector declares…

Bad at Math: Luke 15:1-10

Here’s a poem I wrote based on the beginning of this week’s Narrative Lectionary reading. (It’s in the Lenten Devotional.) Bad at Math This guy’s a little crazy, don’t you think?This shepherd who told the whole town:“I found my lost sheep”Which is to say,“I lost a sheep”And to say,“I left ninety-nine of my sheep to…

Whom Shall We Fear? Thoughts on Luke 13

Since the full Lenten devotional is available here, I won’t be posting the entry for each day on my blog. But I thought this reflection on this week’s Narrative Lectionary scripture might be helpful for some of you preachers. At the end of today’s scripture reading, there are two brief, distinct passages. In the first,…

A Love Letter to Toni Morrison

Tomorrow I will begin posting daily Lent reflections from this devotional. But today is Toni Morrison’s birthday! She would have been 90 years old. (As I type this, my dog, Toni, is sleeping on the chair beside me. My husband graciously tolerates me naming our pets after favorite writers.) (Yes, there are references to seven…

Entering Lent

As we prepare to begin Lent next week, I want to share with you all some resources that might be helpful as you plan for spiritual formation and worship. (If, that is, you don’t already have everything planned. Which I know some of you don’t.) I just finished this devotional booklet! It contains daily reflections…

First thoughts on Luke 5:1-11 (Narrative Lectionary)

If asked which Gospel is your favorite, I imagine a preacher should respond in much the same way a parent should respond to being asked about their favorite child: “Well, each one has its unique endearments and they are all equally precious.” Nevertheless, Luke has always been my favorite Gospel. Partly, yes, because it is…

A Prayer for Protection in a Time of Violence

I know I am not the only one worried about violence erupting in the United States in these days leading up to Biden’s inauguration. There have been threats of violence against churches and members of congress. Right wing groups have called for raids on every state capitol. Too many people with deeply held racist beliefs…

Storming the Capital on Epiphany

The part of the Epiphany story I have always found most haunting is Matthew 2:3: “When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.” This one line speaks to an insecure and immature political leader who the people understand will do damage if he feels threatened. It foreshadows the slaughter of…