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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Cross Archives

Naked Feet … and the Gift of Reverence

When he slipped his feet into the tub of warm, herb-infused water, he did so almost apologetically. “Thank you,” he said, tentatively, an edge of either shyness or embarrassment in his tone as she summoned a foot to her lap. […]

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Good Friday Is Like Hot Yoga…

Good Friday is like last night’s mindful hot yoga class. It was my first, so I had gone with some trepidation. I hadn’t known what to wear, for one thing, so I put on my only pair of light Spandex, […]

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A Glorious Dark: A Review

Three years ago, when pastor, seminary professor and author A.J. Swoboda’s first book Messy made its debut, I said I hoped the book would not be his last; so when a review copy of Swoboda’s second book, A Glorious Dark, […]

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Lessons from the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Just over six months ago, a member of our congregation announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer: Steve Hayner, the outgoing president of Columbia Theological Seminary, and his wife Sharol, have come to be most associated in my mind […]

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Mental Health Break— “Hurt” and “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”

Today’s break for restless souls looking for the More we’ve yet to find comes from Johnny Cash’s album American V. A Hundred Highways.  “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” first recorded by Cash in 2003, the year of his death, was released […]

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The Witness: A Good Friday Sermon

For the last three years I’ve had the privilege of participating in an annual ecumenical and interracial Good Friday service, “Women’s Views of the Cross.” This year I’ll preach from the perspective of Mary, the mother of James and Joses, […]

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Are You Lenting?

We often talk of Lent as a season. Yesterday the woman bagging my groceries made “Lent” a verb. The one-inch-thick, pound-plus bar of Belgian chocolate was already safely tucked away in one of the bags when I explained that for […]

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Favorite Hauerwasisms On The Cross, Church Growth, Etc…

This intersection is a place where hopefully you and I both can come and reflect, vent, ask questions and share doubts and experiences without judgement. It’s also a place where you get to be a bit of a guinea pig: […]

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Martin Luther King on Self-Sacrifice

Today when we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was both a deeply flawed and greatly inspired public servant and man of God, I am struck by this recollection of King from this morning’s Our Daily Bread devotional: In […]

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Remembering Joyce and Little Things With Great Love

[A correction has been made to Joyce’s age in this latest version of the post.] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:13 Right now my father-in-law is waiting […]

Mental Health Break- “The Mission” with Ennio Moriccone

The soundtrack to the movie, “The Mission”- about a group of Jesuit missionaries in eighteenth century South America who live and die alongside the indigenous Guarani people, when they are slaughtered and their land forcibly taken by Portuguese colonialists- almost […]

The “Eucatastrophe” of Easter

Yesterday fellow saint and sinner Tammy shared this meditation on the meaning of Good Friday; but its use of J.R.R. Tolkien’s term, “eucatastrophe,” also makes it an Easter sermon for anyone anywhere who has sat, metaphorically speaking, outside a tomb […]

Song of a Caged Bird: A Sermon for Good Friday

I’ll preach the following sermon in just a few hours at today’s “Women’s View of the Cross”: A Service for Good Friday. (I appreciate your prayers!) This sermon takes the perspective of the maidservant in the court of the high […]

Why I Need a God Who Wears a Cross: A Meditation for Holy Week

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  This final victory lap of the book; the last touches on a manuscript that I now a bit bashfully would let other eyes see for the very first time: they were supposed to […]

God of the Main: Beyond Reductionisms and “Waiting for Gospel”

  Walter Brueggemann’s review of Douglas John Hall’s latest book, Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant “Establishment” (Cascade), in the current issue of The Christian Century, sums up well the depressing state of the mainstream American church: […]

Remembering the Driftwood Artist

Almost one year ago, in the week leading up to Christmas, I met “the driftwood artist.” I wonder if he is still there peddling his art on that part of coastal highway that runs through St. Petersburg, Florida. And,  I […]

Family unValues: Weird Jesus Sayings

“If any of you come to me…and don’t hate your father and your mother, your wife and your children, your brothers and your sisters- yes, and even your own life!- you can’t be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26 So much […]

The Easter Grouch Speaks

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” – 2 Corinthians 4:10 —————————- “Christ is risen!”  My cup is running over- or so I’m told. […]

Desperate Housewife or God’s Dreamer? Station 5

Finally, the sermon that many of you helped me write in encouraging the use of “appropriate” humor even on the darkest day of the church calendar.  Today’s Good Friday service at Mount Zion A.M.E. will be a series of  meditations […]

“In the Name of Love”- Station 4

So they arrested Jesus, took him off, and brought him into the high priest’s house…The men who were holding Jesus began to make fun of him and knock him about.  They blindfolded him. “Prophesy!,” they told him. “Who is it […]

Ending Our Savior Complexes: Station 3

When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.  But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he […]

The Kiss of Betrayal: Station 2

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you […]

Jesus on the Mount of Olives: Station 1

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew […]

“Happy April Fools Day!” Love, Jesus

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find […]

Good Friday Humor: Bad Taste, or a Witness to the Resurrection?

I’ve been asked to preach at a Good Friday service that lifts up the voices of the various women in the events surrounding Jesus’ death. I got the call yesterday asking if I would preach- apparently the woman originally slated […]

Indecent Exposure: “Jesus the Light,” Epithets Continued

“And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, […]

R-Rated, Dirty Laundry: The Temple and Jesus Epithets Continued

“‘Destroy this Temple,’ replied Jesus, ‘and I’ll raise it up in three days.’ ‘It’s taken forty-six years to build this Temple,’ responded the Judaeans, ‘and are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But Jesus was speaking about […]

Lenten Lift-Off

The following two resources for Lent come from FB friends Kara Root, pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Nadia Bolz-Weber, who pastors House for All Sinners and Saints, in Denver, Colorado.  The first is a […]

“The Lamb of God”: Jesus Epithets Continued

“Look!, [John the Baptist] said.  “There’s God’s lamb!  He’s the one who takes away the world’s sin!” -John 1:29 “God is angry with us every day,” someone exclaimed to me the other day. And if truth be told, there was […]

“What Have I Done to Deserve This?”: Jesus and the Fig Tree, Weird Sayings Continued

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because […]

Was Jesus a Tea Party Member? Weird Sayings Continued…

“Jesus said to him, ‘What do you think, Simon?  When the kings of the world collect taxes or duties, who do they collect from?  From their own families, or from outsiders?’ ‘From outsiders,’ he replied. ‘Well then,’ said Jesus, ‘that […]

The Haves and Have-Nots: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“You’ve been given the gift of knowing the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus replied, “but they haven’t been given it.  Anyone who already has something will be given more, and they will have plenty. But anyone who has […]

Bare, Naked Power: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Do not resist an evildoer.  But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well, and if anyone forces you to […]

Politically Incorrect Jesus: Weird Sayings Continued

“You always have the poor with you, don’t you?  But you won’t always have me.”  Matthew 26:11 It’s a good thing Jesus isn’t running for office, because if he were, he’d probably lose. Can you imagine a political leader saying […]

“Get Behind Me, Satan!”

“But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!,’ he said.  ‘You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33) The bumper sticker at the […]

Previous Posts

Life Is Short. Seek Faithfulness.
Within a few hours of its appearance here at this intersection between God and life, my last post on the Ashley Madison scandal had a total of one share. "It must've been something I said," I told my husband later that night, as we were ...

posted 10:01:05am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

3 Quasi-Spiritual Lessons from the Ashley Madison Scandal
For those of us saints and sinners who even remotely have been following last week’s Ashley Madison scandal, I can think of at least three lessons it offers (and you may have more, in which case feel free to leave them below): 1. Chances ...

posted 6:14:59pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

John Oliver vs. Televangelists and Their "Big Seed" Prosperity Gospel
If you've not seen it, you must: John Oliver on "Last Week Tonight" offered the most brilliantly funny rebuke of televangelists and the prosperity gospel I've seen to date. Oliver doesn't mince words, including the four-letter ones, in blasting ...

posted 2:21:12am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

How the Latest Revelations Re: ISIS' Systemized Sexual Violence Against Girls Remind Me I Am Not a Pacifist
As if ISIS had not already convinced us enough of its total depravity ... the latest revelations by The New York Times —(be forewarned, they are disturbing to read) — remind me why I am not a pacifist. As if turning small boys into child ...

posted 5:54:37pm Aug. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Mustard Seed Faith and a Mustard Seed Kingdom of God, Via Mary Oliver
Last ...

posted 1:47:32pm Aug. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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