Love gives. God gives. Giving gives life.

A few days before Christmas, the grandparents arrived ready for “Christmas with toddlers”.  One set drove their older pickup. The truck was packed tighter than Santa’s sleigh.  After our 11 pm Christ-Mass Eve Service, I walked alone down the little path from the church to our parsonage humming, “silent night, holy, all is calm, all […]

Being real in prayer

The phone rang at 3am with almost unspeakable heartache on the other end.  I soon passed through the ER’s metal detectors and toward ICU. The victim vacillated between this life and the one to come.  I found her daughter sitting in pajamas in the middle of an empty hallway. I introduced myself as her mother’s […]

Blessed are the peacemakers- being mistaken for the Children of God

I awoke at 3am, perhaps, because of the NYT interactive graphic “477 Days, 521 Mass shootings, Zero Action from Congress”  I read before bed. Unable to return to sleep, I went and dusted off a sermon from 2015.   Sadly, it was easy to rework it for another shooting.   I awoke grieving for Las Vegas, […]

They grumbled against the…

Jesus’ parables weave a rich tapestry of truths.  What does it mean that Jesus answered tough questions and unpacked theological truths with a stories instead of an extended list of rules?  When the religious experts sought to define, “who is my neighbor?”, Jesus used the image of a rival Samaritan clan as the Good Neighbor […]

What does this mean? remembering

With more luck than planning, we visited Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary of the battle, arriving early enough to park in the closest parking lot. The next day, we celebrated the Fourth of July in Philadelphia, toured Constitution Hall, and saw the Liberty Bell through the glass wall. We then drove to New York City, […]

Everyday Ethics and a Grand Purpose

What are your everyday ethics?  What metrics guide your daily living? Paul’s letters often offer little passages dedicated to everyday ethics. You might think of these passages as “Checklist for Christian living,” or “Christian Rules to Live By” or a “Jesus’ daily metrics” Our passage in Romans’ 12 revolves around Jesus’ Great Commandment Part B: “Loving […]