A Secret Kingdom

What we must remember is that there are still people and groups who are seeking to do the best of things in the worst of times. During these stressful and tragic days, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged by the lies, greed, incompetence, and lack of compassion in the… Continue reading

I John 3:17-18 — A Burned Hand, a Broken Heart

When our daughter was a toddler, she burned her hand on one of the burners of our kitchen stove.  She screamed in agony.  Quickly we put some ice in a plastic bag and placed it in her tiny hand to relieve the pain.  Whenever we had to replace the ice,… Continue reading

What Version Is Your God? (Based in large part on the writings of Brian McLaren) Matthew 5: 43-48

Occasionally I am asked by people from various walks of life, “Do you believe in God?” This question is often asked by those who have been seriously wounded by sick versions of religion which require belief in a wrathful, rigid, unforgiving, demanding, all-determining God. My answer is always the same:… Continue reading

Matthew 9:35-10:8 — Driven by Compassion

The famous pulpiteer George Buttrick in commenting on this passage asked the following rhetorical question: “How does a crowd affect us?” A crowd might evoke fear, excitement, disgust, weariness, or indifference. But I would suggest that rarely does a crowd evoke compassion. Yet in our passage Jesus looked out over… Continue reading

The Crucified God: The Death of Jesus

Whatever else we may say about our Christian faith, I think most of us would agree that at the very least, Jesus reveals the nature of God. When we see Jesus, we see and understand what God is like, who God is, and how God feels toward us. That’s what… Continue reading

Mark 10:28-31 “Demonstration Plots of the Kingdom of God”

During the Great Depression and World War II, the U. S. government had a program designed to teach farmers and households more efficient and productive ways of farming and gardening. Most of the population back then was rural, and the survival of many families depended on their ability to produce… Continue reading

Acts 2:42-47 “All Things in Common”

Few passages in Scripture trouble Western contemporary Christians more than these verses from the Book of Acts. On the one side we have those who insist that the pattern found here (where everything is held in common) must be the practice of the faithful church—a sort of spiritual communism. Anything… Continue reading

Galatians 5:22 26 “God, Give Me Patience”

(I have included at the end of this sermon the pastoral prayer, communion meditation, and commission that were given during the service when the sermon was delivered.) There are times I think I should go back to school and earn a Ph. D. in patience. But then I realize one… Continue reading

Lent: “The Cross as God’s Solidarity With Creation”

During the season of Lent when we consider the meaning of the cross, we should observe that the church over the centuries has never settled on one interpretation of the death of Jesus. The New Testament itself understands that the cross has far more meaning than can be squeezed into… Continue reading

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am writing this article during the week before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January of 2019. In the midst of all the deceit and demagoguery coming from the White House and the President’s flunkies, the blatant racist words and deeds in so many arenas, and the cowardice of… Continue reading