The shadow of the cross blinds us to the peace of heaven spilling over into creation. Domination through ruthlessness - Pax Roma - is no match for the justice and mercy - Pax Christi - of the Kingdom of God.Read More
Paul wrote to a church in Philippi contending with issues of arrogance and disunity. Arrogance and disunity act as prohibitors to imitating Christ’s love as a community. Arrogance and disunity were distractions, and Paul extended grace to the Philippians by reminding them of what the love of G-d in Christ had accomplished.Read More
The awesome thing about the identity we receive through our baptism is that this identity is freely given to us without reservation and with the promise that the One who was chased from his hometown will be with us.Read More
Like the magi, we approach the manger not knowing all of the answers. We approach the manger not having all of the junk in our lives we continue to carry with us not quite figured out. We approach the light of the manger still struggling to over come the curse of sin that we fall back into no matter how many times we think we have overcome it.
This is what makes the Good News different from the promise of security and peace offered to us by empires and the elite. The Good News of Emmanuel is a particular promise available and revealed through particular yet unlikely means, in particular yet unlikely places, and at particular yet unlikely times. We can expect the Good News to be revealed to us through powerful kings and prophets but also through those we are told are not capable of bearing such a promise and those who had forgotten the promise all together.Read More
While we look at this season of anticipating a birth we have to also remember that Christ has already been born, and we now live as a Church awaiting his return and with his return the fullness of the Kingdom of G-d will be made known to us.Read More
The incarnation reveals to us is that while the darkness may seem dark, the Light of Christ always prevails.Read More
What Jesus said to the disciples shapes our lives as followers of Jesus, individually, and as a community. Discipleship means following Jesus with childlike reliance and living a cross-bearing life that resists the power and prestige we grasp for when our own security is in question.Read More
Quoting Genesis instead of echoing Deuteronomy, Jesus told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of G-d, G-d’s disruptive reign, will empower those previously without power. Social structures designed to keep people groups in their place will be disrupted. This point is driven home further when Jesus double-down, using children, a segment of the population viewed as property, to illustrate what kind of dependency, reliance on G-d, will be necessary to be apart of the Kingdom building work Jesus has begun in his own ministry.Read More
How we earn money is a clear and accurate indicator of our priorities. We might speak out in favor of honest work that others should be doing but do we follow the same prescription in our own businesses? We can earn by following the footsteps of someone else but at some point we have to begin living into the calling G-d has place on our lives because what you are called to will look different than what your mentor has been called to. We can preach about Sabbath and ethical practices but if we are not observing them ourselves our true commitments become more apparent.
More often than not the phrase is used in a cavalier manner. I do not doubt the sincerity of the hymn being sung in worship and prayed corporately or individually. The problem with this phrase arises when it is used without the acknowledgment of the blessings G-d has already given to America.
Hasn’t G-d already blessed America?Read More
The crucifixion of Jesus alone illustrates that violence is not a form of justice compatible with His teachings. Leading up to Jesus’ moment of death on Calvary, His own disciples attempted to use violence in the prevention of His arrest.Read More
What we proclaim is unmerited and irresistible new life and that we are not the source of that new life. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves corporately or individually experience the unmerited and irresistible new life given to us by through the promise of Christ and by the Holy Spirit.Read More
While we might want to think of ourselves as Joey saving Ross, more often than not we are Joey saving his sandwichRead More
For the Word Made Flesh to be weaponized means we are attempting the realign Christ with those who not only had him crucified but also with those who maintain power today through threats of violence and marginalization.
The unbelief of the disciples that we frown upon during Eastertide creeps up for many of us before the lilies and tulips of Easter Sunday go dormant for another year.Read More
Acts 3.12-19, Psalm 4, 1 John 3.1-7, Luke 24.36b-48Read More
April 8, 2018 - Mount Olivet UMC
Year B, Easter 2
The ending of The Gospel of Mark does not fit the new life, new hope feeling we enjoy each year as we use Easter to signal the return of new life in spring. On a day when we expect to feel the overwhelming presence of the risen Christ, the ending of Mark’s Gospel is entirely underwhelming.Read More
To challenge the empire, to be the counter-cultural voice, to put on a piece of political street theater, requires you to be willing to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere while it lasts because if you challenge things enough if you push the empire enough the empire will push backRead More