Numbers 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 13:14-21 The wilderness is no place for the weak. Label the wilderness, like March Madness for favorites (one of the most solemn and joyful festivals in our liturgical calendar): Danger Zone. Moses’ sister, Miriam, soprano diva of Israel, died there. His brother Aaron, stripped of his priestly vestments, died there. […]
The season of Lent invites us to turn inward and reflect on the depth of human sin. The Exodus reading reminds us forcefully that we are far too casual about God’s commandments and so apt to change commandments, temples, and churches into objects of our own idolatry. The fourth gospel’s account of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple […]
Legend says that as Shoeless Joe Jackson was leaving the courthouse during the trial of the Chicago Black Sox, as they were known, a young boy begged of him, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Well, Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, […]
Genesis 7:1-5; Genesis 9:8-17 What are we to make of the story of a world-wide flood? There are two main currents of thought about the flood and we will dive in and see where each takes us.
2 Kings 2:1-12 As Elijah disappears in a whirlwind, Elisha is now on his own. Our story has a prequel: One day, years earlier, Elijah passed by Elisha and threw his mantle over him. Pay attention to this mantle because it is everything to everyone ever touched or called. Let’s suppose that one Sunday morning, […]
A preacher gravitates between wanting to be the beloved pastor and the one who is in trouble if he doesn’t preach the gospel. Talk about a difficult place to be stuck. How about these apples: In trouble with God if the preacher doesn’t preach the gospel; in trouble with the congregation if the preacher does […]
The church at Corinth looks like a bunch of battling Baptists. One day, while Paul is out of town preaching a revival, he gets a letter from Corinth riddled with complaints. “Pastor, some members think they are more spiritual than others. Some think they are smarter than others. Pastor, what do we do?” Slice and […]
I want to talk about health care and death, not because I am feeling sad or old, but because we almost never talk about it at all as Christians. We have so many euphemisms for death because we don’t want to talk about it: passed away, or resting in peace, or gone to meet the […]
Today we honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., America’s prophet. Monday, January 15, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Americans of various and sundry ideas still debate whether or not to have a holiday in memory of Dr. King. I have no such misgivings, and I am privileged to honor one of the […]
Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-11 In Matthew’s story some folks show up late. We call these late-comers “wise men.” My prayer is always that our house will be filled with wise women and men.