The Easter story is so familiar to us that I think we miss the shock, perhaps even the terror, of someone coming back from the dead. Especially when, as we hear in our passage from Acts, this Jesus, back from the dead, is God’s judge. We hear that this Jesus is the one who has […]
Numbers 6:24-26 (VT #826), Jeremiah 29:4-11 (VT #783), Isaiah 52:7 (VT #781), Luke 4:16-19, 21 (VT #292), Matthew 28:16, 18-20 (VT #451) This is the last sermon in this series on what I’ve learned about the Christian life, through our worship together. We started seven weeks ago with our gathering, then we moved through the […]
Psalm 100 (VT #20), Psalm 47:1, 6-7 (VT #108), Isaiah 42:10-11 (VT #106), Revelation 7:9-12 (VT #110) I’m not very good at singing. You probably already knew that. I don’t really know how to read music, and I can’t stick with a part without help from others. So I just try to listen along, sometimes […]
At the end of our Isaiah passage, God declares the shortcomings of all metaphors: “For I am god and there is no other, I am God, and there is nothing like me.” We are talking about gender and God – how is God like a man, how is God like a woman, what are God’s […]
Well, I’ll be honest. I’m not a patient person at all, and although for some odd reason I enjoy philosophy, I’ve never had much patience for thinking about gender or theology. Gender is at once too simple and too complicated for me to dwell on. Maybe it’s too hurtful. Theology feels like navel gazing or […]
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and there was no more sea,” no more chaos and difficulty… “See, God’s home is among the people” (Rev 21: 1, 3). It is a vision of heaven. God literally brings heaven out of the sky and sets up house. It is a vision of God’s ultimate homecoming for us, and for God.
This stuff weights me down—for you it could be the situation in Kashmir or all the ice melting in Alaska’s seas, or all of this and more. I feel it in my shoulders, the tightness in my neck. Each body carries weight that pulls at us in different ways. I’ve named public trauma here, but I know each of us, each of you, have very personal traumas and heartaches, intimate anxieties that mess with your head, that affect your day to day life.
Isaiah has a vision. A vision of the world renewed. A vision for the redemption of all things. A vision for the salvation of all life. “The nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). At the beginning of this book, the book of Isaiah, in chapter two, […]
For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought about the dead. Lodged in my memory, from early childhood, is something my dad told me. He told me that I was named after his father, my middle name: Samuel. That was my grandfather’s name, Samuel. I never met him because he died five years before […]
This week I listened to the radio while driving around on the highway, as I often do these days, sipping my coffee and seeing how long I can tolerate to drone of the regurgitated news cycle before I have to resort to more interesting podcasts, or give up all together for another episode of Two […]
“Jesus left Nazareth,” it says, “and made his home in Capernaum by the sea” (Matthew 4:13). Jesus makes a home. He settles into a community for a while. Probably making and selling some furniture, since he’s a carpenter after all. Maybe he builds a few barns, boats, a house or two. Soon the neighbors start […]
Advent 2 John appears near Jerusalem, with bugs in his teeth from his locust meals, with the wild in his eyes, howling at the world to repent. A voice crying out from the wilderness, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2). Something happened to John the Baptist, drawing him into the […]
Easter Sunday “For I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.” These words […]
On Monday mornings I used to park my car on the service road along 15/501, there in front of the storage facility and Swedish Imports mechanic. I’d walk down to the end of the road, down a dirt path that cut through bushes and shrubs, winding around the skeletons of refrigerators and washing machines devoured […]