Colossians 3:1-11 “Hidden with Christ in God”

The New Testament states that when one becomes a Christian, a dramatic change occurs in the life of that person. Different metaphors are used to describe this metamorphosis: born again, born from above, dying to the old self, raised to a new life, living according to the spirit, a new… Continue reading

“Herod on Our Family Tree?” Matthew 2:1-23

In most churches, last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday.  Matthew 2:1-12, the story of the magi, is the Gospel reading in the Lectionary for that Sunday and is understood as Matthew’s version of the birth of Jesus. In our minds as well as in Christmas pageants and Living Creche productions, we… Continue reading

Luke 2:22 40 “The Sword of Discrimination”

I remember a professor in one of my psychology classes distributing baby and childhood photos of Adolph Hitler and Albert Schweitzer. The teacher asked whether we could see in the photos of Hitler anything sinister, cruel, paranoid, and psychotic. He then asked if we could see in the photos of… Continue reading

Deut. 8:1 10 “Starting Over One More Time”

New Years is traditionally seen as a time for resolutions, new beginnings, and reevaluation. In short, it can be a time for orientation, and Deuteronomy is a book well suited for honing our orientation in life.  To appreciate this important part of the Jewish tradition, we must recognize its proposed… Continue reading

Isa. 35:1-10 “The Joyous Gift of Wonder”

Let us pray: Merciful God, during this holy season prepare us in heart and mind, in soul and strength to love you with all we have and all we are. Come close to us in this hour. Speak to our deepest needs. Nurture those seeds of promise and goodness you… Continue reading

Luke 1:26 38 “Those Blasted Angels”

What do you think of when you hear the word “angel”? Chubby babies with little, tiny wings? Effeminate men in bright robes washed in heavenly light with impressive wings? (Have you ever wondered how they sit or sleep at night?) Many of our images of angels come from European paintings,… Continue reading

Colossians 1: 15-20 “The Full Circle of Grace”

For years Native Americans, like the natives of many other lands, were told that they must embrace the perspective and customs of Western civilization if they were to be truly Christian. Native American children were severely punished in their schools if they spoke Native American languages. In many cases, children were taken from the parents and raised in white-operated orphanages and forbidden to demonstrate anything about their native cultures. Some Native Americans surrendered to such pressure and entered into despair and hopelessness as they saw their roots ripped from their souls. But others refused to become white in order to become Christian. And today there are Native American Christians who are writing theology from their perspective and experience. They are learning how to be Christian without surrendering their roots. Continue reading

Matthew 31:1-12 “Preparing the Way of the Lord”

The first week of Advent is usually associated with John the Baptizer. According to the Gospels, John was chosen by God to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. So, he is especially helpful as we approach this season of preparation and expectation.  John was certainly a strange religious figure,… Continue reading

Matthew 16:13-20 “The Rocky Church”

“Whom do YOU say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples. And Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” “The good confession” we Disciples call it. And then Jesus sternly ordered the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Why? Why this… Continue reading