Cosmic and Communal Shalom

The Second Sunday in Advent is traditionally associated with peace. There are two Advent sermons on the blog focusing on peace as well as a three-part series entitled “Shalom” I wrote in August of 2021. In today’s article I want to share insights on shalom by Walter Brueggemann, the greatest… Continue reading

Jeremiah 6:13-14 “On the Tiptoe of Expectation”

This standing on tiptoe reminds us that Advent is about expectation, not passive waiting. Advent is related to our word “adventure,” and there is nothing passive about an adventure. Adventurous expectation, as Presbyterian minister Marc Mullinax reminds us, posts a vigilant watch and prepares for that which is promised. God’s reign can break in at any time, and it is our sacred duty to prepare for a God-shaped destiny.  Continue reading

Shalom: Part Three

The third dimension of shalom can be seen in the following definition (I do not know who first offered this definition, but I have seen it in several publications without reference to authorship): “Shalom is a state of being where nothing is broken and no one is missing.” For me,… Continue reading

Shalom: Part One

The world, and especially Christianity, has been gifted with a profound religious perspective from Judaism.  Anyone who compares Judaism with other religions in the ancient world will find a uniqueness, relevance, and obstinate dedication to truth. Unlike the fertility religions of its day and the cyclic religions of the Far… Continue reading

“Where is Peace?” Ephesians 2:13-15 II Peter 3: 8-15a (An Advent Sermon)

In anticipation of the Messiah’s birth, there was a word from the prophet Isaiah: He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9) Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer, spoke these words about the birth of his own son: He will give light… Continue reading

The Last Judgment (Part One)

For most people, the primary emotion felt when they hear the words “the Last Judgment” is fear. Terrifying paintings and descriptions of that judgment dating from the Middle Ages have prepared generations of Christians to tremble when they think of that event. And in our own day, revivalist preachers have… Continue reading

Isaiah 11:1-9 “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them”

Have you ever been disappointed in a politician? Have you ever voted for a politician because you believed in what he or she promised or supposedly stood for, only to learn later that this politician was like all the rest? Well, in one sense we have only ourselves to blame…. Continue reading