Create Peace

In Matthew’s story of Jesus’ arrest, the most relevant part for “creating peace” is obviously when one of the disciples pulls out his sword and starts swinging. Then Jesus says: “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to…

Up, up, and Away: A Reflection on the Ascension

I’ve been listening to a podcast about the Heaven’s Gate cult, thinking how very strange and warped the group members’ beliefs were—they thought aliens from the Halle-Bop comet were going to pick them up. Then I started looking at the story of the ascension: “While Jesus was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was…

Getting Back in the Boat: Reflections on Luke 5:1-11

Imagine a graduate student working late into the night at her computer in a coffee shop. She’s thinking and staring at the blank screen, starting and stopping.  She finishes a paragraph, gets herself a cup of coffee, and sits back down at the screen with mug in hand. Her eyes flash over the paragraph she…

Thoughts on Jeremiah 1:4-10

When we meet Jeremiah he is young—scholars think probably about 19. He is from a priestly family and, as far as we know, was living a fairly comfortable life. Then God shows up and says to Jeremiah: “You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be…

Whose Suffering?

This is an excerpt from a sermon preached on October 7, 2018.   Job 1-2:1-10 While the question of why people suffer is at the heart of Job, there is another question I’ve been thinking about as I read the first two chapters of Job this week. I’ve been thinking about this question because our…

Jesus and the Kavanaugh Appointment

I am inclined to believe the allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez against Brett Kavanaugh. Ultimately, though, I do not know what happened between Kavanaugh and these women, so I can’t speak about him or these incidents with any authority. What I do know for certain is that much of the rhetoric…