“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…

Sons and Daughters of the Rainbow

Theologically speaking, a truly ecumenical challenge is opening up to inaugurate a new covenant with the Earth in such a way that it will signify the covenant that God established with Noah after the destruction wrought by the flood. There we read: “I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of…

Solon: Those whose riches satisfy their greed

Those whose riches satisfy their greed Are not more rich for all those heaps and hoards Than those who are poor with enough to feed And clothe their corpses with such as God affords. I have no use for those who steal and cheat; The fruit of evil poisons those who eat. Some are wicked and rich, and others good…

A season of promise and the lie of a crossless grace

This is the Easter season, post Resurrection, on the other side of the cross. And while some Americans shout “Make America Great Again,” most of the American church has liturgically moved into the season of Easter promises, failing entirely to notice the significance of Easter’s cross. By the cross here, I do not mean that…