‘A star in the jaws of the clouds’

Apr 14, 2017 by

Never in human history has such goodness encountered such evil. On a Friday a man was condemned to death. This man was marked by more love than the world had ever seen — read the stories of how he treated...

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God on God’s terms

Apr 13, 2017 by

As human beings, we tend to want God on our own terms. We want what we want from God when we want it. We want God to validate our assumptions, our preferences, our view of how the world works or ought to work....

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No Tomahawk missiles in the kingdom of God

Apr 12, 2017 by

This post is a sermon (audio version here) given April 9, 2017 at Washington City Church of the Brethren. Our gospel reading this morning is about Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, just days before...

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Jesus: king or prophet?

Apr 11, 2017 by

Why has the Jesus story become so timelessly influential across history? Why do so many people find something irresistibly attractive and fearful in it? And yes, why have so many adherents to this...

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Are we stuck at the cross?

Apr 10, 2017 by

It’s Holy Week. Sunday we progressed around the church with our palm fronds singing hosanna, reminding ourselves of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. From here we walk with Jesus toward the cross...

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Things borrowed — a donkey, a room, a tomb

Apr 7, 2017 by

What do these “things borrowed” have in common? This year during Lent, while rereading the accounts of Jesus’ last days before his crucifixion, several things jumped off the pages of the gospels to me....

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Rethinking Judas

Apr 3, 2017 by

Growing up, we learn that Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus, and that’s true. What is also true is that Judas, I believe, is profoundly misunderstood. The truth is, while he did betray Jesus, I...

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No more palms, please

Mar 29, 2017 by

Most Christians never question where the palms on Palm Sunday come from. It never occurred to me, until my first year pastoring, that someone had to get the palms (and order them well in advance). But as we...

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Kraybill: Where truth confronted power

Mar 27, 2017 by

Today multiple versions of “truth” compete for attention in politics and media. We ask the same question Pontius Pilate famously put to Jesus: What is truth? (John 18:38). Truth already had been...

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The towel before the tomb

Mar 24, 2016 by

[Jesus] got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. — John 13:4 To invite people to look at, to wash, to care for our feet is to invite them to accept us as we are....

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The 4 days of Holy Week that shape my life

Mar 23, 2016 by

It’s Holy Week and, for the first time in my professional life, I’m not guiding a church through it. The freshness of simply being a sojourner is allowing me the opportunity to reflect on this sacred...

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Palm Sunday, partisan politics and the power of the cross

Mar 18, 2016 by

We remember it in the church as Palm Sunday. This is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It’s the day when Jesus of Nazareth pre-planned a comical, yet prophetic event, in order to fulfill...

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Holy Week in an unholy world

Apr 3, 2015 by

We call it Holy Week. But it was a terrible week. His trial reeked of injustice. His own disciple sold him out for a few pieces of silver, betrayed him with a kiss . . .  and hung himself. As he was arrested,...

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Holy Week is hard

Apr 2, 2015 by

I love involving children in our Palm Sunday worship — letting them parade around and wave palms while the adults sing our Hosannahs. And I really love to celebrate Easter with children — with baskets and...

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Giving up my need to be right

Mar 26, 2015 by

Lent is a time to let go of things that hold us back, a time to return to God with our whole heart. As we approach Holy Week this year, I’ve sensed God inviting me to let go of my need to be right, leading...

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You don’t know what it’s like

Apr 16, 2014 by

One day, three conversations. 1. I’m at a function where my job is to give a short devotional and prayer before the meal. Pastor-y stuff. I’m trying to be witty, disarming, light. I make some throwaway...

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If you want to be subversive follow Jesus through Holy Week

Apr 15, 2014 by

It’s Holy week and Jesus’ journey towards the cross has begun. Many of us have already processed around the church on Palm Sunday, and bought our Easter eggs and hot crossed buns, diverting our...

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