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…

On Awkward Family Meals

I read this week about a family gathered around a table for a nice Thanksgiving meal. Things were going well until Uncle Larry said, “Hey, Steve, you need to pay me back that $200 I loaned you last year.” And Steve said, “I don’t have the money to pay you back, Uncle Larry.” And Uncle…

The Woman who Anoints Jesus

Matthew 26:6-13 Lent is the time in the church year when we move toward the cross and, ultimately, to Easter. Lent is 40 days (not counting Sundays) of preparation for the holy celebration. Days to, perhaps, give up something in your life that is getting in the way of your relationship with God. Days to,…

Waiting for the Messiah

On this feast day of the Presentation, here is an excerpt from a sermon I preached several years ago on Luke 2:22-38. Do you see that old man, sitting in the corner? He’s easy to miss. Shuffles into the temple most every day. Shrunken, bent with age. Wandering awkwardly among the crowds until the weariness…