Undoing Anger: Seeing People

Last summer, I found myself in a fast-food drive through line 5 minutes before opening. Lacking coffee, I struggled to navigate the orange cones and contradictory signage. The car behind me honked. Fast is in the name, fast-food, and deep in our expectations. At five minutes after 6, a yellow vested teenager started moving the […]

Jesus grew angry (Mark 3)

As Jesus and the disciples practiced weekly sabbath, they worshipped alongside a person with a paralyzed hand. Now because of the paralyzed hand, the person was only half welcomed at church. They could attend, but not lead worship; this was true for women, blind people, and many others. (Leviticus 21) The religious leaders watched Jesus […]

Keep standing

An abridged ending to Ephesians might read: “Finally, siblings, be strengthened by the Lord and stand!  Stand. You can stand.  Hang in there! Keep praying!  Pray for confidence to keep at it. Let us find peace, love, and faith in Christ.”   The writer of Ephessians reminds us that the Apostle of Paul was imprisoned for […]

Love never fails to change us

On Monday, I used this pair of scissors and cut the ribbon on one of the tiny homes at the Village at Glencliff. I felt a holy rush like I was elevating the offering plates or communion loaf to God for the first time. A priest links the people to God, and so, with these […]

What is your axis mundi?

What is your summum bonum? In seminary, we enjoyed tossing around such fancy Latin terms. Summum bonum (sum of goodness) means the highest good or the essence of goodness itself. How do you sum up goodness? How do you express goodness in your life? Another seminary word of the day was axis mundi (world’s axle). […]

uncovering our ears- hearing the prophetic

Homecomings are not always easy, but most do not go as poorly as Luke 4, where Jesus’ home congregation tried to throw him off a cliff. When Jesus went home, I imagine Jesus’ hometown remembered with pride how twenty years prior, twelve year old Jesus blew away the nation’s leading Bible experts. (Luke 3) On […]

Your faith has healed you…

As Jesus stepped out of the boat, a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came forward, fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded, “My daughter is about to die. Please, come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.” If we notice […]

Love opens our hearts, minds and mouths

Paul writes, “…even though my second letter hurt you, I don’t regret it. Well, I did regret it just a bit.” (2 Cor. 7) Second Corinthians is a letter or collection of very personal letters that the Apostle Paul and some later redactors wrote to the church Paul planted in Corinth. Church leaders kept these […]

Forgiveness

Growing up, we had a Christmas gifting ritual that endured well into my thirties. My mother handed my brother John and I two identically wrapped presents and instructed us to open each present at the exact same moment. The first pair of presents might be a matching khakis, the second box maybe tandem button downs, […]

Trinity: God in relationship

Whenever we read Bible stories, it is important to remember how ancient technology shaped the message. Etching ink into leather scrolls by hand was a slow, expensive, and specialized craft, and so most Bible stories read more like newspaper articles than novels or modern short stories. John does not waste words filling out the scene […]