Annoying the Authorities

*This post is excerpted from a sermon  on Acts 3:1-12a; 4:1-4.   My friend, Jay Yoder, has been supporting Black organizers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and shared a video of what happened when they were filming police badge numbers: as Jay neared the end of the line of officers, one stepped forward and, with no warning…

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.…

Blessed Epiphany

My best-laid plans for posting in Advent were thwarted by a nasty sinus infection. But I’m healthy again and starting the new year with a resolution to publish something new on the blog at least once a week. Star Words I handed out “star words” during worship yesterday. These are words that can serve as…

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…