Country and God, Part Two

As citizens of a supposed democracy, we may think we are exempt from the mistake of confusing God with country. We have no anointed kings (although #45 would love to assume such a title). But we do have a system where many of the same dynamics are at work which characterized kingdoms and empires. As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (or in this case as rotten). Kings and emperors have been replaced by oligarchs, corporations, and ruthless politicians. Continue reading

How Many Fingers Are on the Trigger?

Two recent political events in our nation are particularly disturbing for anyone who cares about our democracy. Friday a week ago, the Republican National Committee officially described the January 6 attack on the Capitol as “legitimate political discourse.” When I initially heard this insane description, I thought it had been… Continue reading

Habakkuk 1:1-12 “The Rise and Fall of Empires”

History is littered with failed kingdoms and empires which have brought destruction upon themselves. Every empire has assumed that it is the exception—that it will last forever and is exempt from the consequences of practicing evil. But every one of these empires have brought about their own destruction. Continue reading

Wily and Convenient Sin (James 5:1-6)

James 5:1-6 is not a message that is well-received in our American capitalist society. In fact, most of the Letter of James is suspect in the eyes of those inclined to bigotry, greed, and violence. In this particular passage, James condemns the rich for their greed, the advantage they take of their workers, and their extravagant lifestyles made possible by their use and misuse of the poor. James particularly singles out the ways in which the rich cheat their laborers and withhold their wages. In the corrupt world of the Roman Empire, the poor had no recourse when suffering such oppression and orchestrated poverty. Continue reading

Micah 3:1-12 “On the Menu”

My insightful cousin-in-law and poet Mary Boren shared a quote on Facebook from the late, great Ann Richards (former governor of Texas before Republican lunacy possessed the state). In her down-to-earth way, Richards voiced an unfortunate truth which has plagued humans for thousands of years: “If you are not at… Continue reading

Psalm 109: A Problematic Prayer

(Based on the exegesis of Walter Brueggemann in Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy, pp. 369-373) Read Psalm 109 For a few moments I want you to think back on your life to those times when you have been wronged, mistreated, betrayed, abused, used, hurt,… Continue reading

I Corinthians 15:20-28 “An Easter That Makes a Difference”

I have a terrible confession to make. Ever since I started in the ministry, I have found Easter Sunday to be the most difficult time to deliver a sermon.  The main reason is this: I am convinced that Easter can truly happen only to those who have first gone through… Continue reading