Acts 2:1-12: Speaking the World’s Language

Day of Pentecost, June 9, 2019 The first time I traveled to a place where I didn’t speak the language and it really mattered was January, 2008. Now, I had been to Denmark many years earlier. But there it didn’t really matter: everyone in Denmark speaks English—and several other languages—so I was never in a … [Read more…]

John 5:1-9: It’s Complicated

Sixth Sunday of Easter: May 26, 2019 When our kids were in high school, Chris and I would accompany them to the Montreat Youth Conference, sometimes as chaperones and sometimes as small group leaders. It was, for me, and I think for Chris too, a highlight of the teenage years. And one of the highlights … [Read more…]

John 10:22-30: From Tribe to Flock

Fourth Sunday of Easter: May 12, 2019 All stories—especially Biblical stories—are set in a particular time and place. The time of this story is wintertime—during the festival of dedication, or Hanukkah, as it is more familiarly called. Hanukkah is a celebration that commemorates an event that took place on the 25th of December—or Kislev in … [Read more…]

John 20:19-31: Unlocking the Doors

Second Sunday of Easter: April 28, 2019 There are two kinds of doors in this world: the kind we lock and the kind we unlock. We lock the front door when we go to bed. We lock the car door when we head into our offices for the day. We lock the medicine cabinet to … [Read more…]

Philippians 3:4-14: I Want to Know Christ

Fifth Sunday in Lent: April 7, 2019 audio What are your favorite stories about Jesus? Do you like his parables? Those brief, charming, witty, insightful stories that condense so much knowledge about the kingdom of God into such a small, but powerful narrative? Do you like his healing stories? Those miraculous, awe-inspiring stories that fill … [Read more…]

Luke 15: 1-3; 11-32: Coming to Ourselves

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 31, 2019 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; 12 and the … [Read more…]

Luke 13:1-9: Taking Up Space

Third Sunday of Lent, March 24, 2019 audio In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus is confronting an age-old problem that had troubled people for millennia before his time, troubles us still, and will trouble our descendants for millennia to come: why do innocent people suffer? In the time before Christ people grappled with this question in … [Read more…]

Luke 4:1-13: Heart Wisdom

First Sunday in Lent, March 10, 2019 Epistle Lesson: Romans 10:8b-13 “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, … [Read more…]