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…

A Plea for Religious Freedom in Kansas

There is so much crazy going on in Topeka right now, it’s hard to settle down and pick one thing to be be righteously indignant about. I’m absolutely concerned about the proposed bill that would basically put Sam Brownback in charge of the K-12 budget. The possibility of a complete collapse of public education in…

On Being Notorious

A couple of years ago at a conference, a mutual friend introduced me to an editor of a denominational magazine. The editor promptly said, “Oh. You’re the notorious pastor.” I did feel like a minor (very minor) celebrity at that conference in the wake of news stories about “the wedding” and “the review.”  That would…

Loving the Season . . . and a New Adventure

I recently saw an article about artist Brent Christensen and the amazing ice sculptures that he creates. Sparkling walls of ice, up to twenty-five feet tall–the sculptures are beautiful. But it wasn’t the sculptures themselves that most impressed me. It was this little bit of information from the beginning of the article: “The hobby first…

Call to Worship for Mark 4:35-41

Here is a call to worship based on this week’s Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary: We gather together in this place of peace . . . Why are we afraid? As storms buffet Why are we afraid? As nations rage Why are we afraid? As relationships crumble Why are we afraid? As illness…

How shall this be?

The following reflection on Luke’s story of the annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) is adapted from a sermon I preached on December 13, 2009. You might have noticed by now that the writer of Luke gives us a lot of detail here in the first chapter. We know who was king. We know what priestly division Zechariah…

What mountains would you like to move?

I’ve posted the sermon I preached this morning on Mark 11:20-25.  I was honored to preach for one of our ecumenical mid-day Holy Week worship services here in Lawrence.  We pastors had decided to take the texts chronologically for the week.  I agreed to preach on Tuesday without knowing what I was getting myself into.…