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…

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,…

The Nature of God’s Presence

We don’t often think of these opening verses of John’s Gospel as a nativity story, but it is, in it’s own way. It may not have the narrative flair of Matthew or Luke’s version, but it makes up for that with its theological heft. Despite their differences, the Gospel nativity stories all address a core…

The Parable of the Three Servants

(Matthew 25: 14-30) It is convenient that the unit of money used in this parable gets transliterated as “talent.” So we don’t have to talk about money; we can just talk about our talents and how we should use them and not bury them—because surely we all want to enter into the joy of our…

Thoughts on the Nashville Statement

In the spirit of “better late than never,” here are some thoughts about the Nashville Statement: To all who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, intersex, transgender, gender non-conforming, questioning and/or otherwise queer: God created you and loves you. You are sacred, you are worthy, you are an integral part of the true Church. I…

The Opportunity for a Movement

At the Poor People’s Campaign rally in Topeka, KS, this past Monday night, Rev. William Barber told us about a map of the United States. A map that shows what states have the highest rates of poverty, poorest health care access, highest number of racist incidents, highest rates of violence against LGBTQ people, and highest…

Re-Visiting Zacchaeus

When we are kids, we color pictures of a guy sitting up in the branches of a tree. But when we get older, we know that the really important part of the story comes at the end. When this very wealthy tax collector declares to Jesus, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I give to…

Reflecting on the Widow’s Mite

Mark 12:38-44 Let me summarize the common message drawn from the story of the widow’s mite: “Friends, this poor widow gave everything she had to the temple treasury, so pull out your checkbooks and give a lot of money to this church.” But let’s not go there. Let’s back up and consider the context. First…

Reflection for All Saints Day

The Lectionary readings for All Saints Day and All Souls day include lovely words and images of God’s care for us and the Divine promise of eternal life: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” “God will swallow up death forever.” “Death will be no more. Mourning and crying and pain will be…