Hosea 11:1-11: Runaway Bunnies

Eighth Sunday After Pentecost: August 4, 2019 When our kids were toddlers one of our favorite books to read to them was The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown. To this day it is still one of our favorite baby gifts when our nieces and nephews have children. Maybe y’all remember it: a little bunny … [Read more…]

Colossians 2:6-19: Earthy Faith

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost: July 28, 2019 Over twenty years ago, when I was serving an internship at a small Presbyterian church in Benson, NC, the church’s Sunday school class was working its way through a video series called Genesis: A Living Conversation. It was an exploration of 10 stories from Genesis hosted by Bill … [Read more…]

Luke 10:38-42: When the Center Cannot Hold

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost: July 21, 2019 Jesus is playing referee and Martha is down for the count! Every time I read this story I can’t help but think that it ends with a smack down, and Martha is the one lying defeated on the mat. Now, I realize that we are not supposed to … [Read more…]

2 Kings 5:1-14: Keep It Simple

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost, July 7, 2019 What is the miracle of the story of Naaman? Is it the healing of his leprosy? Is it the aversion of war with Syria? Is it the conversion of a man from the worship of Syrian gods to the worship of the one true God of Israel? All … [Read more…]

Luke 9:57-62: No Turning Back

Third Sunday After Pentecost, June 30, 2019 I am a terrible student of history! It has always been my worst subject. Although I love stories and have spent all of my academic life studying old things, like Latin, Old English, Greek, Hebrew, the Bible, I just cannot get the hang of history. It seems so … [Read more…]

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…]

Luke 8:26-39: What If Everyone Were Healed?

Second Sunday after Pentecost: June 23, 2019 It has been said that the antidote to fear is gratitude. The most frightened I have ever been was back in the winter of 1985. Chris and I had just bought our first car from his parents in Rochester Hills, MI, and were driving it back to Binghamton, … [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 21: 1-19: Loving Others Loves Jesus

Third Sunday of Easter: May 5, 2019 When I was a graduate student At Binghamton, NY, the administrative assistant for the director of graduate studies had a sign posted behind her, right at eye-level of the students who would come to explain to her why they hadn’t yet completed some paperwork, or registered for master’s … [Read more…]