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

RCL: Living God

This week’s texts play with the tension between a living and permanent God. Luke 20:27-38 starts with the foolish humans asking a question. It is important to note that these Sadducees are Jewish, like Jesus is a Jew and to avoid making an anti-Semitic argument about how wrong they are. The Sadducees, are however, human.… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: Celebrating Holidays

All Hallows Eve is coming. “Do we celebrate Halloween? Are there some people who don’t? Who doesn’t and why?” My seven year old son asks me. I think of our Pentecostal neighbors across the street, who we play with on a regular basis, “We do celebrate Halloween, but yes some people don’t. I don’t think… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: Masters & Mustard Seeds

Luke 17:5-10 I love how I block things. For example I had no idea that the beloved Mustard Seed text was juxtaposed so handily with a troubling text about slavery and masters. I’m sure the issue is my whiteness in a white context. In the United States, at least, we are too often tempted to… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Loneliness & Abundance

It is important to note that many people struggle with infertility. That for those in our congregation, of all ages, the struggle to conceive a baby is real. Who knows how many miscarriages Sarah had. Who knows if Sarah was one of those who’s body never quite worked right. There are those who long for… Read More

RCL: This Changes Everything

Here Jesus warns of the cost of discipleship. That it will cost you a real way, in your relationships to follow Jesus. This is a hard text for me, when I would rather be nice and get along, then directly challenge people. And yet, my faith in Jesus calls for me to name and lament… Read More