The Impulse of Jesus

(This post originally appeared in the online publication Undoing Domination.) The central impulse at the heart of Jesus’ teachings was the proclamation of the Reign of God, or what Walter Wink called “God’s Domination-Free Order.” It was the creation of a new community, a new citizenship, built not on national, tribal, or familial bonds, but…

Zen Poem (For Dorothy Day) – By Dan Berrigan

How I long for supernatural powers! said the novice mournfully to the holy one. I see a dead child and I long to say, Arise! I see a sick man I long to say, Be healed! I see a bent old woman I long to say, Walk straight! Alas, I feel like a dead stick…

Kingdom Treasure

Brookside Community Church July 30, 2017 Pentecost 8A – Matthew 13:44-52. “Just do something!” The real human question being ask of us is whether there is anything we care enough about that we would be willing to risk everything, even our very lives, in order to protect it. “Do something!” That was his wife’s plea….

Nelle Morton – “Hearing to Speech”

  We live in a microwave/internet society that teaches us to look for quick and easy answers. It takes time to learn to really see and hear each other. But our society teaches us that our first impressions are what matters. So we quickly decide what to think. No one wants to take the time…

“I desire mercy.” Go and learn…

In describing the miracles of Jesus, John Dominic Crossan argued in his book Jesus (1989) that Jesus’ was acting “as an alternative boundary keeper in a way subversive to the established procedures of his society” (82). Jesus was not so much a miracle worker as a healer, and healing was not so much the curing of a…

Hospitality: the challenge and the promise of Christmas

It is a fond and familiar thing among mothers to tell birth stories. Sometimes, the stories are peaceful, beautiful, and astonishing. They can be quite disturbing. Often enough, they sound like the war stories. So many babies are “almost” born in the back of a car, in an elevator, in a boiler room, somewhere between the toilet…

The Image of a Child

“No statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children.” –Rabbi Irving Greenberg This morning I need to prepare my sermon for Sunday, but I am paralyzed. I cannot write one word. It’s not because I don’t know what to say. There is too much to say,…

Sermon Prep and Lectionary Prayers for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

For July 17, 2016 SCRIPTURE READINGS Colossians 1:15-28 Luke 10:38-42 RESPONDING TO THE TEXT The story presented in this week’s Lectionary reading will be familiar for many. The main characters, Martha and Mary, are also very familiar. While they are mentioned in several other places in the New Testament, this passage is famous for identifying Martha…

Simone Weil on Affliction and the Chasm in God

I will never forget the moment I was introduced to the writings of Simone Weil a few years ago. It was as if all of the  questions I had ever asked about the nature of God, suffering, beauty, and good and evil had collided into one stream of thought. Simone Weil was a philosopher, political activist, and mystic…

Building fences. Imprisoning Christ.

In the last judgement Christ says, “Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me” (Mt 25:40). Working in New Mexico, Br Robert Lentz became intimately aware of the spiritual crisis that is our current-day situation with immigration. Our current political climate echoes loud voices calling to “Make America Great Again”…

To Whom Does Your Heart Belong?

Revelation 5:1-14 At the heart of Christian worship is the belief that God is worthy of worship. What are we here after? Do you ever walk into a room or go to the store and ask yourself “Now what was I here after?” We all know that feeling, don’t we? That feeling of not being so sure…