RCL reflections for 13 September: Forgiveness and debts

We have here an abundance of texts–Matthew 18:21-35, Genesis 50:15-21, Psalm 103–about forgiveness this week. And as I am in the middle of feeling vey angry about the state of–gestures around–everything I find the concept of forgiveness with more foreboding than usual. Here is Peter, who has perpetual foot-in-mouth, asking just how many times someone… Read More

RCL: Witnesses and Truth

Matthew 18:15-20 passage starts with the goal: To regain that one. In a time where the lost sheep parable is being used exhaustively to discuss Black Lives Matter (and some Queer Acceptance) in the church, I find it very hard to discern what it means to be lost. Certainly those who are asking for basic… Read More

RCL: Walking on Water

Here we are in Matthew 14:22–33 and I bet in the midst of the international pandemic and our wrestling with all those problems that have become magnified by the pandemic: racism, homelessness, poverty, childcare, healthcare, etc, that we all wish we could walk on water right now. I would love to be able to identify… Read More

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