Thoughts from a Virtual Church Visitor: Welcoming and Gathering

So far on my mini-May-sabbatical I’ve engaged with about twenty different church worship services: emailed services, live-streamed services, pre-recorded services, Zoom services. Lots of them have been Mennonite, but I’ve also hung out with some Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, and non-denominational folks. In my first post about this experience, I suggested some ways to…

What keeps us safe?

Imagine: A black man and his son grab guns, hop in their car, and chase down a white jogger. The young black man gets out of the car, confronts the unarmed jogger and, after a brief altercation, shoots him. Imagine: Hundreds of black people—most openly carrying firearms—swarm a state capital, yelling in the faces of…

Reflections on 1 Peter: [1] 2-10

I don’t know how heaven will work, but if there are optional excursion packages I want to take the one where I get to listen in on the conversations that happened when people were forming the Revised Common Lectionary. I realize this will probably be one of the less popular excursions. But still. I am…

Lectionary Reflection: John 14:1-14

“Jesus, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” I love Thomas. He doesn’t go along to get along. He doesn’t pretend to understand Jesus’ baffling words or—later–to believe an unbelievable story of resurrection. I imagine the other disciples smiling, nodding along, just happy to be in Jesus’ presence.…

Easter Calls to Worship

Originally posted on Spacious Faith:
With Matthew  28:1-10 The earth is shaking.Are angels descending?The tomb is before us.Is the stone rolling back?It’s bright as lightening, blinding as the sun reflecting off of snow.Of course we are afraid.But we need not tremble.We need not become like the dead.Because the tomb is emptyand we are calledfirst to…

Small Easter

Originally posted on Spacious Faith:
? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A few years ago I audited a class at St. Paul seminary on “Preaching and the Short Story.” There was a story on the syllabus with “Easter” in the title, and I kept thinking I should read that before I wrote my Easter sermon. So this…

The Palm Sunday Crowd and the Good Friday Crowd

As we move from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, a lot of people wonder how the “Hosanna” of Palm Sunday gave way to the “Crucify him!”of Good Friday. How did the crowd go from praising Jesus to condemning him, all in a matter of days? Well, it didn’t. Because we are talking about two different…

A Prayer from the Valley

God, Death is all around us. Of course death is not new, but we feel it in new and difficult ways right now. Breathe the breath of your Spirit Into the dry places of our lives, Into the wastelands of our hearts. Breathe and fill us With your love, Your grace, Your purpose, Your Life.…