Ephesians 1:1-10 “What Do We Mean by Grace?”

Accepting ourselves as loved unconditionally, sacrificially, and eternally by God can be the most difficult step in our Christian pilgrimage. We just can’t believe that such good news is for the likes of us. But it is for us and for everyone else in God’s creation. That is what grace is all about. And it is only as we accept such grace that we will be free to love others, to live victoriously and courageously, and to dance in the light–and even in the darkness. Continue reading

Psalm 51:1-12 “Are We Moderns Too Sophisticated for Sin and Guilt?”

Psalm 51 is one of the seven penitential psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures and is among the profoundest of prayers in the history of religion. It is also historically one of the most important passages of Scripture during the Lenten season. But there is something about this psalm which jars… Continue reading

Some Musings About Karma and Grace

(This short article is intended for five groups: Christians who are prone to limit God’s grace to those who believe exactly as they do; Christians whose predominant images of God are punitive and judgmental in nature; Christians who are confused regarding the nature of grace; non-Christians who mistakenly assume the… Continue reading

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

Genesis 12:1-9 “The First Things” (God’s Answer to Babel) Part 16

There are four primary stories in Genesis 1-11: The Story of Adam and Eve, the Story of Cain and Abel, the Story of the Flood, and the Story of the Tower of Babel. In each of these stories we see the same pattern. There is first the sin of humans;… Continue reading

Matthew 20:1-15 “The Scandal of Grace”

One of Jesus’ favorite ways of teaching was through parables. Parables were used by other teachers in Judaism. However, Jesus’ parables seem unique. His parables were almost always about situations involving common people: a shepherd looking for a lost sheep; a woman kneading yeast into flour; a peasant awakened by… Continue reading

Genesis 6:5-9:17 “The First Things” (The Great Flood) Part 14

In a previous sermon [Genesis 1:1-12:3 “The First Things” (Ancient Near Eastern Traditions and Historical Context) Part 2], we looked at the similarities between the flood story in Genesis and the account of a great flood in the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic—a story which dates many years before Israel ever came… Continue reading

Economics as If People Matter

The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success. . . If human vices such as greed and envy are systematically cultivated, the inevitable result is nothing less… Continue reading

Babette’s Feast: Let’s Go to the Movies

“Babette’s Feast” is a charming movie based on Isak Denisson’s (penname for Karen Blix) story with the name title. The film is about a French woman named Babette who became the cook for two elderly sisters on the coast of Denmark. Babette was a refugee from France during a political… Continue reading