We Have Every Spiritual Gift

I Corinthians 1:1-9 When his letter arrived, Christian community at Corinth must have been surprised by Paul’s opening words.  “I am grateful for God’s work in your lives, God will keep you steadfast, you have every gift you need.”  Some must have thought, he’s being ironic or he’s got to be kidding.  The Corinthian church […]

Epiphany – home by another way

Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12 I feel a kinship with the Persian Magi who visited Jesus.  Not just because I would be categorized as a type of Magi today, a scholar, teacher, and spiritual leader, but because every morning around 4:30 a.m. right after I wake up I go out into my backyard and stargaze.  […]

Christmas with the Grinch

Virtually everyone loves Christmas stories.  When I was a child, every year we saw Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.”  You know, the story of a man who was mean and greedy, and who thought the only important thing in life was money, until he was confronted by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and […]

Fruits or Righteousness

There’s a poster I’ve encountered over the years that asks the question: “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” The poster implies that being a Christian is more about what we do and who we are than what we believe.  While theology and belief are important, […]

The Hope That is in Us

Psalm 46 Colossians 1:9-20, 24-29 The reading from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians seems like an appropriate scripture for my sixty seventh birthday. Paul’s words to the Christians living in today’s Turkey combine spirituality, theology and practical guidance. God is everywhere, and Paul gives us a vision of a Christ-filled universe.   Christ is the guiding […]

The Moral Arc of the Universe

Isaiah 65:17-25 On Sunday, March 21st, 1965, nearly 8,000 people gathered in Selma, Alabama and began a march to Montgomery. Leading the march was a young Baptist preacher, Martin Luther King Jr.  They were marching for justice, equality, and the American dream.  They couldn’t wait any longer for the right to vote.  They had tried […]

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 […]