The Pastoral is Political: Consumerism Kills

In Biblical terms, the word for “consume” means to waste or burn away (the Hebrew is “shmad”). To consume literally means to burn up.  It is an act of violence.  To lay waste to. To use up, expend, dissipate. I think of this more and more as we continue to have conversations of about our… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: The Tragically Flawed Hero

Sermon ideas for 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 (The Anointing of David) With the October 1 release of The Many Saints of Newark (2021) – IMDb we are once again reminded of the beauty of the Tragically Flawed Hero.  And just as the long-awaited Sopranos prequel locates Tony as the young adult poised to be anointed… Read More

THE PASTOR IS POLITICAL: Fashion is Power. Power Is Political.

Last week was New York’s fashion week, which always brings me joy, but is particularly elating since this means the COVID hiatus is over.  Looking at the photos from the streets made my heart sing. And Fashion Week reminded me of that time in CPE (clinical pastoral education) when our group leader asked us if… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Wrestling with Blessings

Reflections on Genesis 27: 1-4, 15-23 and Genesis 28: 10-17 For me, there are stark parallels between the story of Jacob and Esau, and the state of America’s divided nation. The rivalry of brothers can affect nations. So it was with the nation of Israel. So it is with nations today. For a deeper dive… Read More

THE PASTOR IS POLITICAL June 23, 2021

Is “Othering” our greatest sin? I am writing from rural Minnesota, and here in the U.S. there are quite a few “political” debates worth weighing in on, if you are a pastor.  As usual, right? The U.S. is at odds with itself.  On one channel, there are the ironic fights that pair Juneteenth support with… Read More

NARRATIVE LECTIONARY: Zacchaeus and the Blind Man

A reflection on Luke 18:31 – 19:10 for March 21, 2021, 5th Sunday of Lent In this triplet of scripture stories, we get the disciples misunderstanding Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy (what’s new, right?) followed by a juxtaposition of two stories about two men on opposite ends of the societal spectrum, both seeking out Jesus for… Read More

NARRATIVE LECTIONARY: Mary, the Samaritan, and the Better Path

Reflections for Sermon writing on Luke 10: 25-42 (1st Sunday in Lent) As the pandemic continues to radically change our worldview – simultaneously giving us a global perspective while locking us into a local bubble – it is time again to think of that always important question: who is my neighbor? I love that the… Read More