RCL: Roots

What are your roots? In the task of self-differentiation, often the best way to control your behavior is to figure out how we became the way we are. Good counselors, psychologists & psychiatrists will start with a family history. How were you formed, how did you grow up, who are you in relationship with? Examining… Read More

RCL: Teaching & Obeying

Matthew 26 19-20 is the end of the beginning. It closes the gospel, like every good sermon, with what to do next. Go & Make: This command is given in such a way that it can be read wrong (and often has been). We have the authority of God not to “make” disciples by force–and… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Serenity Prayer

  Image can be found here I’ve been thinking a lot about the Serenity prayer a lot. Because the wisdom to know what it is that I can control and can’t control is so hard these days. Because the wisdom to know what can and cannot be changed is so political these days. What can… Read More

RCL: Living Stones

  “Do not let your hearts be troubled” Jesus says, like it’s easy. Jesus covers a lot of ground in John 14:1-14. Jesus is here trying to set our poor human hearts at ease. Telling us that we do not need to fear, because not only is there enough room in heaven for everyone, but… Read More

RCL: Chaos & the Cross

This is a moment of crises in the city of Jerusalem. The moment Jesus enters there is tumult. First the impromptu military parade of victory, followed by the last supper with disciples and finally Jesus arrest. Like the last few weeks in the United States and Europe, and like the last few months in China… Read More

RCL: Love and Theology

Image I lift my eyes to the hills, do you know psalm 121 is the most favored Psalm? When people are in trouble, they lift their eyes to the hills. The hills, at that time were not places of safety. The hills were where you would find ambush, the hills were where trouble was hard,… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Ashes to Ashes

Ashes with worship? Ashes all day? Ashes to go? Ashes with glitter? As the liturgical calendar winds its way certain discussions can be predicted. With Advent its advent candles colors. With Ash Wednesday it’s the way in which we make/dispense ashes. Ashes are political. They are symbolic word act of our very real inability to… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Taste and See

Be Salty, find the light that shines Jesus urges his followers. After the most famous sermon ever spoken, Jesus does not hold back. He elaborates on the commandments as an illustration of the Blessings he has just preached on the Mount. Jesus tells us not to lose our flavor, not to hold back. Jesus urges… Read More

RCL: Baptism Renewed

It is time for baptism of Jesus, a well-worn text from the Revised Common Lectionary. This year its Matthew 3:143-17. Many leaders take this opportunity to hold a renewal of baptism. The timing is fitting in the secular calendar, New Year, New Start, Baptism Renewal. After the re-realization of who Christ is and that Jesus… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary Advent 2

The end is near. Continuing Matthew’s theme, John the Baptist carries a heavy load of pointing out that the kingdom of God is immanent. A source of comfort to Mary in her magnificat, it is a source of worry for those in powers. John the Baptist promises radical restructuring of the world. “Who warned you… Read More