On the Turning Away

Last Sunday’s Scripture lesson was grounded in brokenness – in the rips tearing the fabric of intimate relationship between Jesus and the apostle Peter, the three-time denier of his association with Christ. During a humble shore lunch of freshly caught fish and bread, Jesus – recently arisen from Good Friday’s grave – makes the firstContinue reading “On the Turning Away”

Crunch, Crunch

Strained, toxic, lethal. Fragile, hostile, disrespectful. Fleeting, controlling, intimidating.  Violent, dependent, dishonest. Rude, crude, and unacceptable. Such are the gloomy descriptors of many current-day relationships between spouses and family members, boyfriends and girlfriends, roommates and significant others, acquaintances and next-door neighbors, co-workers and classmates, politicians and citizens. But in the Kingdom of God, where unconditionalContinue reading “Crunch, Crunch”

Patching the Leak

The Old Testament kings and prophets, along with God’s perennially disobedient people, have been the main characters in our Scripture lessons for the past couple Sundays. As the story of God and us continues to unfold, the long era of royal rule has begun for the Israelites, and their kings are mixed bags of goodContinue reading “Patching the Leak”

Dying to Grow

Jerusalem in the days leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion provides the setting for this morning’s Scripture lesson. But it is recent events taking place in nearby Bethany that set the stage for everything we’ll shortly hear from the Gospel of John. In Bethany, Jesus has been hanging out with his friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha,Continue reading “Dying to Grow”

Time to Clean House

What’s it going to take for us to believe? What’s it going to take for us to believe that God desires a change of heart and mind in each of us? What’s it going to take for us to believe that God has given to Jesus all the power and authority necessary to affect thatContinue reading “Time to Clean House”

You Are Beloved

Lent begins in the wilderness, and that’s not a particularly safe place to be. In any wilderness, you face tangible risks both physical and mental, and in the Bible, wilderness always signals a place of grave spiritual peril, too. Wilderness is scriptural shorthand for the realm of the devil, the danger of temptation, and very-realContinue reading “You Are Beloved”