On Asking the Wrong Questions

Luke 20:27-38 Whenever he is asked a controversial question, a colleague of mine responds with, “how much time do you have?” He believes, as I do, that the most important ethical and theological questions in life – abortion, physician-assisted death, the divinity of Jesus, the future of our planet, the problem of evil – cannot […]

A Matter of Size

Luke 19:1-10 Once upon a time, we used the term “stature” to speak of our national leaders. Stature indicated a type of large spiritedness and willingness to embrace grand visions for our nation, forgive political enemies, and look beyond ego to the welfare of the nation and the planet.  We think of George Washington refusing […]

Bridging the Divide

Luke 16:19-31 He wasn’t a bad man.  In fact, he was well-respected in the community.  He was known for his good business sense and his gifts to charities and the synagogue.  He made a good profit, expanded his operation, and treated his workers well enough, paying them just enough to survive but not enough to […]

Saved Together

Luke 15:1-10 Once upon a time the religious leaders criticized Jesus because he was spending too much time with the wrong kind of people. It was ok that they came to listen to his message, but when Jesus met with moral and social outcasts one on one and ate dinner with them, Jesus crossed the line. […]

Prophets or Profits

Amos 5:22-24, 8:4-7, 11-14 Being a prophet can be a dangerous occupation. Your life expectancy is often short and you seldom stay in one place too long.  No one really wants a prophet to show up at town hall, corporate offices, Congress or the White House, and few welcome prophets in church as well. Amos was […]

Amazing Generosity of Spirit

John 12:1-8, Luke 10:38-42 Today, we celebrate two women of faith, Mary and Martha.  Women have often gone unnoticed in our faith traditions.  Male leadership and masculine images of God have hidden the significance of women and the divine feminine, the wholeness of God that embraces and goes beyond male and female. While the New […]

None are Strangers and All are Free

Philemon 1:1-25 Every so often, a personal email is accidentally shared, or confidential communications between political figures become public and go viral.  Reputations can be ruined or we can discover the intimacy of two close friends in a positive and life-affirming way. We don’t know if the apostle Paul intended his letter to Philemon to […]

Encountering God in Pain and Vulnerability

Mark 5:25-34 Author Susan Sontag asserts that each person holds two passports: one is to the land of the healthy, the other to the land of sick. We all know the zest of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being: we know it because we hardly notice it.  Our bodies are our friends.  We bound up the stairs, […]

More than a Fish Story – Jonah

What would you do if God challenged everything you thought was true about God and the people around you?  What if you discovered that your Sunday School faith was fine when you were ten but not when you are thirty or seventy? The book of Jonah is more than a fish story.  It’s about one […]

The Gospel According to Paw Patrol

I Corinthians 12 “No job is too big, no pup is too small,” so begins the introduction to Paw Patrol, an animated children’s show about a group of dogs who are first responders, each one different, with different personalities and gifts, who help people and animals in need. I wouldn’t have connected Paw Patrol with […]