Sermon on Acts 8:26-40 How did Christianity spread to become the dominant religion of the Roman Empire in the 4thcentury after Jesus? At this weekend’s Awakening Conference, Bart Erman, author of “The Triumph of Christianity, tried to answer the question. One school of thought is that Christianity prospered because of its exclusivist and missionary nature, … Continue reading Where the Welcome Meets the Road
Acts 8:26-40 I have a new theological toy to play with, and after applying to this week’s text in Acts, I have decided it is rather dangerous. Some toys come with warning labels that say the contents are flammable, that they aren’t meant for children under the age of five due to choking hazards, or … Continue reading Baptism and Belonging
Easter 3B Luke 24:36-48 (In Eastertide, we have 40 days to reflect on the challenges of understanding the resurrection, and the whatever doubts and complications arrive theologically as we think about if we believe in miracles, are open to mystery, and want to have faith along with our questions. Consider this part to of dealing … Continue reading “Joyful Disbelief and Still Wondering”
Luke 24:13-35 Cleopas and Simon are heading to Emmaus. They have about two hours for one of the most important human experiences, a long walk with a good friend to figure things out. There is a flow to a good walk together. It begins with relief and gratitude of companionship. After Easter Jeanne and I took a … Continue reading Walking and Hoping With Jesus
“I will believe it when I see it.” How often have you spoken these words? When I was a supervisor for housing case managers, my job was to check up on their work through their case notes. My constant refrain was “If you did not write it down, it did not happen.” I’m at the … Continue reading What Are You Waiting For?
What was it like in Jerusalem on that day we now call Palm Sunday? Imagine -The energy level is intense as spiritual pilgrims flood into the city for the most holy Passover Festival. People jostle in packed markets hoping to get a sufficiently large and tender lamb. A vendor haggles with three customers to the … Continue reading How Do You Enter Jerusalem?
Here’s a great trick question to stump your Fundamentalist/Biblical literalist friends. When did Jesus go to the Temple and turn over the tables of the money changers? Most people will say “Palm Sunday” because three Gospels place the story there, but not John’s Gospel. He has Jesus in the Temple right here in the beginning … Continue reading Re-arranging the Holy Furniture
I do not like this story, but it must be told. It is the story of turning point in the ministry of Jesus, and it has great effect on any disciple who follows him. It is a crossroads moment, and something that we all face, often more than once in a lifetime. Suffering brings us … Continue reading “Great Suffering”
So Jesus is talking with Moses and Elijah, and I want to know what they were talking about? Was it like clergy meetings where stories are told of difficult people or theology is parsed and argued over? Were they bemoaning the challenges of people who say they are "spiritual but not religious," or wondering if … Continue reading “When the Light Breaks Out”
Sermon on Isaiah 40:21-31 Is the sky blue? Is the Pope Catholic? Why do people ask questions which they don’t expect to be answered? Sometimes a question can underscore the point better than the statement of a fact. For example: “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” The … Continue reading “Have You Not Heard, Grasshopper?”