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 […]

Sabbath(ing): spiritual de-activity

Twenty-two years ago this June, I arose at about 4am and carefully slipped out of our Denver hotel room so as not to wake Connie or our sleeping 18 month old. I drove into Rocky Mountain National Park and hit the trail before the sun was up. I crossed over the treeline and scrambled over […]

“I am- really learning”

Belmont UMC’s 1914 cornerstone reads, “Made not after the law of a carnal commandment but after the power of an endless life.” Our unusual founding verse comes from the King James version of Hebrews 7:16. It could read, “made by the power of an indestructible life rather than a legal requirement.” Our church’s foundational verse […]

Where will Love send us?

Philip was a culturally Greek Christian, perhaps named after the world conquering Greek Emperor Phillip of Macedon. Phillip of Acts was one of seven original deacons and earned the moniker “Philip the Evangelist.” In time, Phillip’s four daughters would be named as prophets. (Acts 6 & 21) During a time of disruption, the church’s axis […]