A journey without distance

Luke 24:13-35 Do you remember that old standard, written by Duke Ellington and Bob Russell, and covered by Etta James and Louis Armstrong, and more recently by Tony Bennett and Michael Buble, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” These lines sound strangely familiar: “Thought I’d go to the club.  Made it far as the door.”  Now I […]

Got Doubt?

John 20:24-28 Today, I want to reflect on the importance of doubt in the life of faith.  Nearly everyday I see at least fifty false statements – mostly memes or short comments – posted on Facebook.  They are patently false and I do my best to resist correcting my friends for their violations of the commandment “not […]

Practicing Resurrection: Breathing Space

Psalm 150, John 20:19-22 In her inspirational book on ministry in South Bronx, Lutheran pastor Heidi Neumark tells of a tree in front of her parsonage that toppled over one day without any warning.  On further examination, Neumark discovered that the tree had rotted from within, suffering from a type of arboreal cancer, resulting from the […]

Getting in the Easter Spirit

John 20:1-18 You often hear people in the middle of the Christmas season confessing, “I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit this year.”  Some add, “Since the kids grew up, Christmas is different.” Or, “Since my husband or wife died, this is a tough time for me.”   I think many of us are saying a […]

Palm Sunday – Life on a Roller Coaster

Matthew 21:1-11 It was a week like none other.  When they marched into Jerusalem, to fanfare and adulation, for a moment the disciples’ concerns were relieved.  “Look at the crowds.  Hear the Hallelujahs.  Our fears were unfounded. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Everything’s gonna be alright.”  But in less than twenty-four hours their leader is […]

Beyond Tragedy

John 11:1-6, 17-44 We are now entering the twilight zone.  We are now entering the world of the walking dead, the realm of zombies, spirits, ghosts, and near-death experiences. The world of the paranormal that lies beyond the rational mind and human control. (Of course, in this time of pandemic, we already feel as if we are […]

When Bad Things Happen…Where’s God?

John 9:1-7 Do you know what a theologian is?   Did you know that everyone here is a theologian? A theologian is someone who asks questions about the way things are in the world.   You know some of those questions – you’ve asked them yourself…Why was I born a boy and not a girl? Or a […]

From Scarcity to Gratitude

Exodus 17:1-7, John 4:5-15 I once had a friend who was a dowser.  He would walk across fields with his divining rod in quest of places to dig a well, and every so often he found something!  While the scientific accuracy of dowsing has been questioned, my friend would regularly discover water in unexpected places.  He believed that […]

A Bigger Life

John 3:1-17  What does it mean to be born again?  That was Nicodemus’ question during his nocturnal visit to Jesus. Life moves forward, we can’t go back to the womb or even our childhood. But, the moral and spiritual arc of history and our personal lives can call us to new beginnings.  Reminding us, even in retirement, […]

Transforming Sin into Grace

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Matthew 4:1-11 Our Tuesday Bible Study has moved slowly but surely through the letters of Paul, the prophetic writings, and now the gospel of John.  And we spent a whole year on Genesis and Exodus. One Tuesday at the Bible study, the story of Adam and Eve was the theme.  After listening […]