A Prayer for this day

I'm sure you, like me, are devastated by the news of the latest mass shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas. This time involving elementary school children. I'm sure you, like me, are sick and tired of political leaders offering "thoughts and prayers" but refusing to take any other action.  Still, as people of faith, prayer …

Continue reading A Prayer for this day

Curses or Promises?

Here in the Chicago area where I live, we had a glorious spring season -- for about three days. Sunshine, temps approaching (even surpassing) 70 degrees, all kinds of people outside working and walking, grilling and chilling. We have to get it in when we can. Then there’s all the garden talk: What are you …

Continue reading Curses or Promises?

Striving for Wisdom

How can a small local congregation respond to a war on the other side of the globe? I don't know for sure, but that is, in part, what I tried to explore in this sermon. The good people of Woodridge United Methodist Church have previously taken bold action in opposition to the USA invasion war …

Continue reading Striving for Wisdom

Happy Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas! The closest thing I have to a tradition on this blog is this Christmas day offering. Each Christmas I post the Isaiah passage below (which is a reading for Christmas Eve worship every year); John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)," which I find the world's best and most challenging Christmas song; and …

Continue reading Happy Christmas 2021

The Silence of Saturday 2021

An annual Christmas Day post is about the only tradition I've managed to maintain over the years on this here blog. I'm determined to make another tradition out of writing about Holy Saturday (the day between "Good Friday" and "Easter" on the Christian liturgical calendar). It is to me the most honest day of the …

Continue reading The Silence of Saturday 2021

Palms, Passion, and Power

How many times have you read or seen or heard the story of Jesus’ last week? Dozens? 50? Hundreds of times?Whatever your answer to that, it is a well-known story. Many of us can likely quote all the lines (as it were) from beginning to end — this year from the gospel of Mark. So …

Continue reading Palms, Passion, and Power

Why did it have to be Snakes?!

What happens when we start with a (near) universally beloved scripture verse — quite possibly the most famous verse of all time — and add a story that can only be described as bizarre, disturbing, and kinda icky??What happens? Exactly what you think would happen: people stop being polite and start getting real. As in, …

Continue reading Why did it have to be Snakes?!

Finding Comfort On the Mountaintop and In the Valley

I had to repeatedly reminded myself that this is not Jorie's memorial service. I wrote recently about my turn to preach coming up the same time as a fair number of significant events. But this week was different because our colleague, our teammate, our friend, our sister in Christ, Jorie died suddenly. In those previous …

Continue reading Finding Comfort On the Mountaintop and In the Valley

One Creed to Unite Us All

This has been, to say the least, a very difficult week. COVID continues to run rampant in our country with daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths as high or higher than they’ve ever been. We’re averaging 3500 deaths, the equivalent of a 9/11 attack or more per day now. Then Wednesday we witnessed armed insurrectionists attempt …

Continue reading One Creed to Unite Us All