Christ, Change, and Pluralism

Acts 17:17-28 A number of years ago, a best seller was titled, “Who moved my cheese?” Today, many people, including folks like us, are asking “Who moved our culture?” or “Who moved our church?” I grew up in a town resembling the fabled “Andy Griffith Show.” Our small town in the Salinas Valley was sleepy […]

Heavenly Hopes and Earthly Blessings

John 14:1-14 Have you thought about the type of house you’d want in heaven? Have you considered who you’d like to meet when you pass through the pearly gates and find yourself in God’s everlasting realm, a place where there is neither sunset or dawn, but life everlasting? I don’t give heaven a lot of […]

Practicing Resurrection: The Quest for Truth

John 20:24-31 Today, we continue our adventures in practicing resurrection. Last week, we learned the healing power of breath. When we pause, noticing our joys and sorrows, our well-being and pain, and breathe deeply, we may be breathing the same air as the women and men did in that upper room. We may discover that […]

Practicing Resurrection: Breathing Space

Psalm 150, John 20:19-22 In her inspirational text on ministry in the 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 […]

Practicing Resurrection

Mark 16:1-8; John 20:1-18; Luke 24:1-12 Did you notice something interesting as you listened to the Easter readings this morning? We have heard them so often, it is easy for them to lose their edge, and for us to forget how unexpected and unbelievable the resurrection story is. The readings proclaim that something amazing happened […]

A Different Kind of Joy

Matthew 21:1-11 For a moment, Jesus was a hero, riding into town on a donkey. We don’t know what the crowd was feeling, but for a moment, they recognized greatness when they saw it. No Caesar on a war horse, no Roman legion ready to quell any disturbance, no fancy chariot financed by the sweat […]

God’s Power and Human Suffering

John 9:1-7 Being a minister at a wedding reception has certain occupational hazards. I had just completed a wedding at Georgetown University’s chapel and had adjourned with the guests to enjoy drinks and hor d’oeuvres at a local bistro. As I was munching on one of those scallops wrapped in bacon that are often featured […]

There is No Other

John 4:1-26 As many of you know, most mornings I walk on the beach at sunrise and for decades now, I begin my day with prayer and meditation and then continue my reflections as I go for a walk, whether I am the beach, a big city, or the wilderness. One summer, Kate, Matt, and […]

For God so Loved the World, No Exceptions

John 3:1-17 Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, with your mind whirling about some important question, or a problem that’s bothering you? Do you ever feel embarrassed to bring up a question, for fear you’ll be thought stupid or judged by others? I suspect that’s what’s going on in the […]

Listen to Your Life

Matthew 4:1-11 When I was a boy, a Sunday evening staple for American families was Walter Cronkite’s “Twentieth Century,” the precursor to today’s “Sixty Minutes.” In the final years of the show’s life, the title was changed to the “Twenty-first Century” as it focused on what viewers could expect 40 years into the future. One […]