Another Kind of Superhero



Jesus on the cross from the Isenheim Altar Triptych of Mattias Gruenewald

Holy Cross Sunday

September 14, 2014

John 3: 13-21


If you were inventing a religion, wouldn’t you want someone like a Savior-superhero who could save you from the forces of evil and protect the world from them, too.  You’d want someone who could save everyone from pain and loss and grief, and let the   [continue reading...]


This morning, we have a very short service before going out into our community for a morning of service.  Some of us will be repainting a bathroom in a popular park, some will be planing flowers at the Assisted Living residence, and some will be packaging cookies and delivering them to our homebound members.  Then we will regather on our patio for a BBQ and to share the stories of our work in the   [continue reading...]

Can Jesus Learn?


Jesus on the shore of Tyre and Sidon with a Canaanite woman at his feet.

10th Sunday after Pentecost

August 17, 2014

Matthew 15: [10-20] 21-28


So here’s the question:  does Jesus learn about his ministry as he meets new situations?


We meet Jesus today after a run-in with the strict Jewish sect, the Pharisees.  The confrontation has been about clean versus unclean.  This   [continue reading...]

Daring to Trust



lego picture of Jesus walking on the water and Peter sinking9th Sunday after Pentecost

August 10, 2014

Matthew 14: 22-33


Just this last week I saw a cartoon of toddler Jesus taking a bath.  He’s standing on the water, and his long-suffering mother, the Virgin Mary, complete with blue scarf wrapped over her hair is pointing downward, as she insists, “In!”


All kidding aside this   [continue reading...]

What We Bring


Jesus feeds 5, 000 men, image from John August Swanson

John August Swanson's serigraph of Jesus feeding 5, 000 men.

8th Sunday after Pentecost

August 3, 2014

Matthew 14: 13-21


This story is one of the most famous in the stories of Jesus’ ministry, the only story that is told in all 4 Gospels.  To me, that means that   [continue reading...]

Images of God’s Empire

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

July 27, 2014


More stories!  A virtual blizzard of images of God’s Empire that lets us think about it in comparison to the empires and systems of our own day.  One of the problems of such a blizzard is that it’s disorienting.  The disciples seem to be cool with all the images Jesus throws at them, but I’m not so   [continue reading...]

Weeds or Wheat?

6th Sunday after Pentecost

July 20, 2014

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43


Another story from the Sea of Galilee; another image from the Jezreel Valley where sowing and reaping are the main business.  As you read the Gospels, Jesus has many comparisons – laying one concept alongside another in order to give a clearer picture of something that is basically mysterious, or at least such a new concept   [continue reading...]

“A Sower went out…”



5th Sunday after Pentecost

July 13, 2014

Matthew 13:1-9, 19-22


My favorite part of Jesus’ preaching is when he tells a story to illustrate what he’s trying to share.  Maybe his stories reflect his own experience of God, or maybe he’s just trying to come up with an example that will sink down into a person’s consciousness and stick for awhile. These stories are called   [continue reading...]

Comfort and Affliction

4th Sunday after Pentecost

July 6, 2013

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30


“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  How many times has this invitation been a comfort when our lives feel out of control, or when we are struggling to make sense of circumstances that just knock us out.  The very idea that we   [continue reading...]

Beyond Fear


2nd Sunday after Pentecost

June 22, 2014

Matthew 10: 24-39


The very fact that this reading sounds like Jesus is ranting should be a comfort to us.  Maybe you are thinking that it’s hard to find “Good News of the Gospel” in this reading.  That’s because you have never lived in a place where being a Christian sets you at odds with the prevailing   [continue reading...]