Narrative Lectionary: Pigs and Prejudice (Mark 5:1-20)

Having a favorite Bible passage is as ill-advised as having a favorite child, but if I did have a favorite, this intriguing story would be a strong contender.  It has everything: conflict, healing, payback, revelation, and even traveling pigs.   Read the scripture here. Read the Working Preacher commentary. The story unfolds like a movie, with… Read More

Tuesday Prayer

God of Greys and Brightness, In this post Christmas season, As the lights have been taken down And clouds have filtered in, The funk of January has permeated our souls. Whether the days are cold and dreary north of the Equator Or the days are arid and scorching to the south, Our balance seems off.… Read More

Tuesday Prayer

God of all Creation- As the world wobbled and rumbled this morning in Puerto Rico, We send our prayers and our love to the ones now seeing a shattered world. As electricity and water has ceased, We pray that they can find the resources they need. May their earthquakes end, And may their trauma heal.… Read More

RCL: Origin Stories

In her final, beautiful book, the late, luminous Rachel Held Evans wrote, The role of origin stories, both in the ancient Near Eastern culture from which the Old Testament emerged and at that familiar kitchen table where you first learned how your grandparents met, is to enlighten the present by recalling the past. Origin stories… Read More

Friday Festival: The Other Side of Christmas

Like every other pastor, I struggle with the Christmas Eve sermon.  Having spent the year with church members standing by a graveside, or sitting in a claustrophobic hospital consult room, or handing out tissues when there are no words, I wonder what to say when I look into their eyes on Christmas Eve.  The good… Read More

RCL: Still Waiting

By now, hopefully your stockings are hung by the chimney with care, your halls have been decked (with boughs of holly or your decoration of choice), and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! But we’re not there yet. The season of waiting and anticipation continues. What will be synonymous with… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Never Assume [Luke 1:5-13, [14-25] 57-80]

The story of the birth of John the Baptist is the story of the ordinary turned upside down, and made extraordinary.  Every common assumption is reversed, through the power of God. Everyone in the story is wrong about what they expect to happen.  God is in the reversal business all through Advent and Christmas, changing… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Praying for the Powers That Be

Last week, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter the question “Do you hate the president?” Her response was passionate, knowing that her motivations had been misconstrued: “…as a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I… Read More