Advertisement

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Jesus Archives

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, […]

Advertisement

A Christmas Homily

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available […]

Advertisement

Brokenness—as Creative Tension?

This morning a meditation from Paula Ripple’s Growing Strong at Broken Places sparks some thoughts about embracing brokenness as the very site where God seeks to form us, like a master potter, into the people we can become. Ripple draws […]

Advertisement

Jesus and the Rich Man: A Sermon on the “Hitler” of Passages.

It’s rare that I find myself thinking about Sunday’s sermon midweek. This Sunday our pastor Drew Ditzel preached on the familiar story of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10). The rich man, who says he has kept all the […]

Advertisement

Bobblehead Jesus

The Bobblehead Jesus I got as a stocking stuffer this past Christmas, and which now accompanies me every time I drive somewhere, inspired this morning’s poem: Plastic imitation cheap meditation jumping spinning dancing to your every thought as you weave […]

Advertisement

Famous Last Words, a.k.a. “The Great Commission”—A Sermon

[NOTE: If you’re noticing an absence of images in recent posts, it’s because we’re experiencing some technical difficulties uploading images.  Thanks for bearing with us!] This Father’s Day I’ll be preaching to Fairview Presbyterian Church on a text that will […]

Advertisement

“Belief Without Borders”—The Importance of Wandering

The older I get the more I’m convinced wandering is essential to rest.  A soul that has come to rest has known what it means to wander.  And, God forbid that our souls should ever only rest and never wander […]

Advertisement

“Daybreak”— A Poem

This is a poem I wrote this morning. May your day be full of hope: Daybreak When the sound is birds, and the harvest of night is gathering into morning’s first blooms, the silent prayer of the universe for every […]

Advertisement

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 […]

Advertisement

In the Beginning: A Christmas Greeting for Restless Souls

The Christmas story is about subversive beginnings, transformations that if you’re not attentive you’ll miss, but that mean a whole world of difference. A subtext runs through this story of a homeless couple’s journey ending in search of a place […]

Holy Space 7: At the Site of Your Birth

I can’t connect here. The “site” of your birth is just a shrine to me. It’s hard for me to come and give thanks to you here. I find I just come to consume, to get my picture and go. […]

From War Zones To Placid Lakeviews…One Saint and Sinner Shares His Holy Moments With the Rest of Us

This post was supposed to be yesterday’s—apologies, as I’m still rather gradually coming out of a long hibernation due to too many commitments—but as promised, I’m including below a meditation on holy space from saint and sinner Michael, who has […]

New Testament Scholars Weigh In On Aslan’s Book “Zealot”

By way of an update to last week’s rant about Aslan and his newly released Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, The Economist published a damning review of the book; and The Chronicle of Higher Education marshaled responses […]

Jesus the Zealot? A Closer Look at Reza Aslan and His Latest Book

Maybe it’s because at 2 am last night my daughter woke me up and never went back to sleep. Or because at 2:05 am we discovered a bat flying around in the upstairs bedroom, having rather mysteriously snuck in from […]

Renaissance Fair Church

The following reflections conclude my presentation for the hip Presbyterian Women of Clairmont Presbyterian Church. (The full, multi-media presentation, titled “Losing Our Religion: A Church for Restless Souls?,” is available upon request.): Stand-up comedian David Cross does a routine in […]

But For The Love Of A Mother

This week, in the days and hours leading up to today’s celebration of motherhood:   – both my kids used me as a human napkin without my permission; apparently my shirt makes a good substitute for wet wipes or paper […]

Musical Mental Health Break- Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor with Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma played Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor at Thursday’s interfaith prayer and healing service in Boston, where the President and First Lady were in attendance after the tragedy of this week’s Boston Marathon. In an interview […]

The Mystery of the Miralax Deviled Eggs, a.k.a. Telling Our Secrets

Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, [Jesus] began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will […]

Confession of a Yard Sale Junkie (A Replay)

It’s another beautiful Saturday morning in my neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, and today I’m noting another sign that spring is here to stay: the yard sale signs are out in full proliferation! Yes! In tribute, I’m replaying a post that […]

When Jesus Makes Your Quesadilla

Yesterday I met Jesus. He was behind the counter at Moe’s, dressing my quesadilla. Cheese. Black beans. Lettuce. Salsa. Olives. Sour cream. He told me the guacamole and bacon cost extra and smiled when I asked if additional sides of […]

The Tragedy of Rick Warren’s Son: What Might It Teach Us?

The news of popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren’s son taking his own life over the weekend hit close to home. And, if you have ever struggled with the disease of depression or have loved ones who do, maybe you can […]

“The Dating Game” Jesus and “Eligible Bachelors” Via Susan Patton

I agree with Princeton alum Susan Patton, whose advice to the daughters she “never had” is lighting up the blogosphere, about one thing: women should marry men at least as smart as they are. That’s where our agreement seems to […]

An Invitation to All Half-Believers

Yesterday a kind friend said people would buy the book I’m writing for the same reason they show up at my blog: they don’t really “go to church” (my friend’s words) but something about the Christian faith and its world […]

Garbage Pail Priests?

Do you remember Garbage Pail Kids? I never collected them, but they were a hot item growing up.  Each card character suffers from some ridiculous abnormality or terrible fate.  Take “Adam Bomb,” or “Glandular Angela,” or “Half-Nelson,” for instance.  Or,  a […]

“R” Rated Bible…for Kids?

Yesterday in making my rounds as a corporate chaplain, I ran into one man who volunteered that he and his family had recently seen the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” for the very first time. “How old are your kids?,” […]

Centering Prayer and “Melodrama”

The other day I stopped by a centering prayer group for the first time in a very long while.  I wasn’t sure how I would find it, but I knew that centering is something I long for in the midst […]

Does SNL Cross Line with “Djesus Uncrossed” Trailer?

Apparently, within hours of its airing, Saturday Night Live’s recent send-up of American film director Quentin Tarantino, in the form of a Jesus who takes revenge upon his Roman executioners when he rises from the dead, had its critics, some […]

“Don’t Let My Car Fool You. My Real Treasure Is In Heaven.”

I’ve missed you here at this intersection between life and God!  Last week’s scramble to meet a self-imposed deadline for Grace Sticks meant a cyber fast of sorts, but I’m grateful to be back. By way of an update to catch us […]

Jesus the Vine: Jesus Epithets Continued

I promised you more Scriptural name calling, so this morning we continue with Jesus Epithets: All the Names Jesus Gets Called in Scripture. Today’s feature is for all of you botanists and green thumbs out there.  I, unfortunately, can’t count […]

Pinocchio’s Nose and The Truth That Frees

Yesterday’s post contained an untruth. Last night I went back and read a sentence that claimed a previous unfamiliarity with the reality that God can meet us everywhere, when in actuality I’ve always known intellectually that God can meet us anywhere and everywhere.  […]

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: […]

God’s Obedient Child: More Musings for Rebels

I’ve been stalling on the subject of obedience: just the term makes me a bit squeamish, and I’m not sure where this discomfort comes from. Maybe my squeamishness is the result of having grown up singing in church one too many […]

The Dover Principle- and What I Learned When I Didn’t Apply It

I’ve coined “the Dover Principle” by way of our recent visit to my in-laws in Boston. The Dover Principle states this: a three-day limit to visits with extended family is good for everybody.  Visits exceeding three days overstay the welcome […]

In the Aftermath of Newtown Massacre…A Holy Improvization

I love reading the obituaries in The Economist.  They’re often such clever and insightful portraits of human nature in its myriad of expressions. The most recent issue features legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck, for whom jazz improv was in the […]

A Case of Holiday Extremes

“Everything in moderation,” I like to remind myself, when reaching for the egg nog and the sugar cookies at this time of year. If truth be told, I can tend to take the same approach with religion.  Extremes scare me. […]

An Advent GPS System for Restless Souls

My husband would be the first to tell you I have the directional sense of a squirrel. There is an advantage to this handicap: if my intuition tells me to travel in one direction, I can safely assume that I […]

Sunday Silliness: Louis CK as Abe Lincoln

Louis CK once again has me laughing, this time with his rendition of Abe Lincoln on last week’s “Saturday Night Live.”  If you missed the clip, here it is again.  (Be forewarned: in typical Louis CK fashion, there is a good […]

“Hope of the Earth”?

“This nation is the hope of the earth,” Republican candidate Mitt Romney said in passionate closing remarks at last night’s third and final presidential debate. The statement for a moment filled me with great pride, and maybe I’m not alone. […]

“What Do I Desire?”

The below video appeared on Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish“- another of Alan Watts’ transformative lectures set to pictures.  It’s worth your two minutes watching it. Watts begins by posing this question to his students:  “What if money was no object?” […]

Cheeky Forgiveness

The night Paul LaRuffa was shot five times in cold blood would have been like any other.  He had closed up the restaurant and gotten into his car.  That’s when “before I could start the car or do anything, the window […]

Love and Marriage When You’re Saving the World

Have any of you been following the news around the recent discovery of a fourth-century papyrus fragment that mentions Jesus’  wife?  The veracity of the papyrus is apparently dubious at best; but this hasn’t stopped Harvard professor Karen King from […]

Top Five Least Favorite “Christian” Code Words

The other day a pastor friend asked if I’d like to help her preach on Stewardship Sunday.  A kind but dubious invitation which I agreed to with a level of trepidation.  That’s because anyone who has been around the church […]

The Importance of Form

The form of sermons has become this week’s focus with students in Preaching 501 with preacher and teacher Tom Long.  I’ll soon be listening to my students preach, some for the first time; and when they preach, their sermons will […]

31 Days of Community

The Nester’s “31 Day Challenge” has inspired fellow saint and sinner Tammy Perlmutter to blog thirty-one days straight about the laughter, surprise and heartbreak of living in intentional Christian community.  Jesus People USA seeks to live out the kind of New Testament […]

A Dangerous Communion

(Note: “Flora” and “Sue” are aliases.) “Flora” is lying in a dark room, the blinds drawn much like her pale face.  Two tired eyes wander in the direction of the voice at the door before coming to rest on the […]

More Thoughts on “Disappearing Mothers”

My last post and popular blogger and author Rachel Held-Evans’ subsequent shout-out in her Sunday Superlatives (for “Best Conversation Starter in the Blogosphere”) have generated a throng of readers and a string of interesting comments, most of which seem to be […]

Love and Loss, Dating and Ordination: One Priest’s Travails

The other day I was sitting at lunch next to a still lively, 90-year-old woman at a plush, assisted living center.  (Funny thing is, even in plush surroundings like these, the food still tastes like your average, garden-variety, “institutionalized” grub.) […]

Why “Church, Inc” Has Failed Us and Why Jesus Won’t: An Interview

And now, finally, what a number of you have been waiting for…Today’s guest is missional church thinker and activist Lance Ford, who is organizing the upcoming Sentralized gathering in Kansas City, Missouri (September 27-29), in which I’ll be taking part.  He […]

True Love, Compliments of “Louie”

For those of us who still believe in true love, and for all my single friends traversing the landmines of today’s crazy dating world, this recent clip from Louis CK’s new comedy television series, “Louie,” shared by fellow saint and […]

“Bringing Jesus”

The other day I heard something that I often hear in various Christian circles. “My husband and I have a heart for bringing Jesus to people,” someone said. And, I can appreciate the sentiment behind the remark. But, bringing Jesus […]

Underwear God: The Scandal of The Incarnation

It is frankly absurd to believe that God came into this world as, of all things, a human being.  Fully divine, yes, but fully human, too. Yet the whole crux of Christianity, I believe, hangs on this one great, scandalous […]

“Change”

In the last several years, fellow saint and sinner Tammy Perlmutter has, like many of us, witnessed a whole lot of change, much of it just downright sad, hard and disenchanting.  Tammy posted this wonderful little entry on change in […]

“Reading the Bible For All It’s Worth”

Some people really know their Bibles.  One of them is Steve Hayner.  Steve is the president of Columbia Theological Seminary, in Atlanta, Georgia, and has taught missiology, pastored churches, and worked at the helm of the student ministries organization, InterVarsity. […]

“Did God Help Gabrielle Douglas Win?”

Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win?  That was the question posed by Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams in a recent piece penned for the magazine and forwarded by fellow saint and sinner Irene Lin.  It’s an interesting question, one that […]

The Resurrection and The Life: A Sermon

This past Sunday I had the joy and privilege of joining in worship with the people of Old First Presbyterian in downtown San Francisco.  The following sermon belongs to our ongoing series, Jesus Epithets:  All the Names Jesus Gets Called […]

“Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?” Is the Wrong Question

In an op-ed piece for The New York Times, titled “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?,” Ross Douthat makes the observation that last week, as the Episcopal Church was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for […]

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 […]

Prepositional Faith: A Sermon by Guest Preacher Saskia de Vries

Fellow saint and sinner Saskia de Vries, whom we recently spoke with about neuroscience and theology (see our four-part interview, The Brain on Faith) is also a preacher.  She preached the below sermon to her congregation yesterday, and kindly agreed to […]

Anger Management 101

Two days ago someone I know who I would prefer not to know made me very angry. I was so angry that when I went grocery shopping, I left all of my purchased bags of groceries in my shopping cart […]

Independence Week

Last night I was reading an excerpt from Simone de Beauvoir’s autobiography, The Prime of Life, in which she describes in almost ecstatic tones the wonder of working and living on her own as a writer and philosopher.  She was […]

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

I’ve recently begun a three month experiment in co-leading a small group of self-described cynics, skeptics and religious misfits engaging our questions at the intersection of life and God.  Tonight we’ll be revisiting what it means that Jesus is “the […]

Can a High Christology Accommodate Genuine Interfaith Dialogue?

Is it possible to take seriously the unique, “once and for all” saving work and person of Jesus Christ, while also respecting the views of friends from other faith traditions and engaging in genuine interfaith dialogue?  Is it feasible to […]

What Does It Mean To Pray Boldly?

“And this is the boldness we have in [Christ], that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the […]

Why I Don’t Believe Psalm 23

The nineteenth century philosopher and theologian Sören Kierkegaard recognized that every individual must wrestle with the implications of God’s Word for herself.  The “collective,” or, in this case, churches and religious institutions, do violence to this necessarily subjective, deeply personal […]

“The Way, The Truth, and The Life”: Jesus Epithets Continued

“I am the way and the truth and the life!  Nobody comes to the father except through me.” – John 14:6 It may be hard to believe, but we’re actually doing a series on all the names given to Jesus […]

“Your Story, Your Witness”

If you could think of one example in your life of how God was real to you, what would it be? Co-founder and co-pastor of Kairos Church Thomas Daniel begins last week’s sermon with this question.  What follows is an […]

The World of Biblical Literalism: Men With Short Hair and Women Without Jewelry or Leadership Skills

Fellow saints and sinners have left some interesting comments during the last few days!  Someone with the online name of “Roodness” writes the following in response to my “Coffee with Jesus” lampoon of manliness pastor and cage fighter Mark Driscoll’s […]

The Brain on Faith: Part 3 of a Four-Part Interview

We’re back with Stanford neuroscientist Saskia de Vries in a conversation about neuroscience and faith… I’m curious about how you read Scripture these days, and want to spend some time here.  How do you read the creation story, for instance?  […]

What To Make Of God’s Annoying Fan Club?

“I’ve got nothing against God, it’s His fan club I can’t stand!,” goes one bumper sticker.  Endless scandals, bickering, and declining membership and budgets in many denominations all point to a long, historical track record of failures to be the […]

Divine Child Abuse Atonement- Why It Can’t Hold Muster

Those of you watching with bated breath the conversation that began last week- about bad atonement theories- will be vaguely interested in knowing the latest: I have given some thought to fellow saint and sinner Paul’s claim that an orthodox […]

A Mother’s Day Tribute

You may have heard me tell this story once before here, in the context of “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” (http://blog.beliefnet.com/fellowshipofsaintsandsinners/2011/11/body-dysmorphic-disorder.html), but with Mother’s Day tomorrow, it’s worth a retell as a tribute to my mother and the many of you engaging in […]

Simone Weil and the Church Uprooted

Some of you know that one of my favorite thinkers is Simone Weil.  Last night I read a short chapter on this twentieth century French philosopher and social activist by another of her admirers, the historian John Lukacs, in Remembering […]

The Good Shepherd: Jesus Epithets Continued (A Sermon)

The following sermon, “Children, Can You Hear Me?,” which I will preach this Sunday to the people of The Presbyterian Church of the Resurrection, is also a continuation of our series on Jesus epithets.  Today’s epithet comes from John 10:11 […]

“Lost and Found”: More on Narcissistic Evangelism

If you read yesterday’s post, “Narcissistic Evangelism,” then this morning’s reflection from the gem of a devotional book, Celtic Daily Prayer, may seem poignantly relevant.  Member of the Northumbria Community Aidan Clarke writes: “What I believe about Jesus could not be […]

“A Resurrected Christianity?”

In recent days, Diana Butler Bass and Andrew Sullivan (in a Newsweek cover story, “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus”) have both given expression to some angst about the death of the church.  Bass has gone on to hold out the […]

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 […]

How Hungry Are You? Jesus Epithets Continued

The following is a sermon that I will preach to the good people of Clairmont Presbyterian Church on the fifth Sunday of Lent (tomorrow).  It’s also a continuation of our series, “Jesus Epithets,” with a view to exploring what it […]

Then God Said “Let It Be Messy”

Church planter and professor A.J. Swoboda has a book out, and it’s worth a read.  My review of Swoboda’s book, which aired today in the Episcopal Church’s very helpful, ecumenical publication, Sermons That Work (http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com), is reprinted in full below with […]

Clubbing with Jesus

If Christianity were a dance club, then it would seem to have a lot of bouncers lately.  First it was Franklin Graham, questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s Christian faith and implying that he could be a closet Muslim after […]

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, […]

A Dog, A Chicken and An Armchair Theologian

My husband jokes that I cry at road kill, so you might imagine my reaction when yesterday’s stroll turned into a scene from the PBS program, “Predator and Prey.” The scene started out almost bucolic-like. There I was with two […]

“I’d Like to Talk to You About Jesus”

Once again, in the spirit of G.K. Chesteron who said, “the test of a good religion is whether you can joke about it,” here is some fodder for a good laugh (or being offended).  My apologies if you’re in the […]

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 Only Begotten Son: Jesus Epithets Continued

“No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared him.” John 1:18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him […]

If Jesus were a CEO Pastor…

If Jesus were a CEO pastor, then… …before the sending out of the disciples, he would have canvassed the neighborhoods around Palestine before devising a marketing strategy (Matthew 10). …he would have sent the disciples out, in the spirit of […]

“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 […]

“Is he the Messiah or not?”: Jesus Epithets Continued…

“The law, you see, was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus the Messiah.” -John 1:17 “The Messiah”- and here I resort to  consulting trusty exegetical companion N.T. Wright- literally means “anointed one,” and in theory can be […]

The Spirituality of Half-Baked Chili Cheese Casserole

The domesticated goddess in me made a new recipe the other night.  (These days “domesticated” means trying out the dishes on sample at my local Trader Joe’s, so long as I can be assured of four ingredients or less.)  So […]

“The Word”: Jesus Epithets

“In the beginning was the Word.” -John 1:1 Words tend to matter less these days.  Talk is cheap.  If the Republican presidential nomination process hasn’t convinced you, take this for an example: apparently you can buy an iPhone app that puts […]

If you could ask Jesus anything…

We are about to start a new series on “epithets” for Jesus. “Who do you say that I am?,” Jesus asks his disciples (Matthew 16). Which might be a question for us, too. Who is Jesus to you and me? […]

“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 […]

“Coffee with Jesus”: Jesus Sits Down with Mark Driscoll

Laughter is the best tonic for my and my husband’s anger this morning after reading Mark Driscoll’s latest series of blatantly chauvinistic remarks- (if there is a fine line between chauvinism and misogyny, I’m not sure where it is)- about […]

Remembering Dr. King’s Peacemaking Legacy

When today we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., who in 1964 received the Nobel Peace Prize for his heroic and painstaking work as a civil rights activist, I am struck by King’s words on the eve of […]

Food for Thought: Did Jesus Come to Abolish Religion?

The below video, titled “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus,” has stirred controversy on Youtube by implying that Jesus is opposed to religion.  Which begs a question: did Jesus come (at least in part) to abolish religion?  If you’re […]

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 […]

Can Faith Move Mountains? Weird Jesus Sayings Continued…

“I’m telling you the truth:  if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.  But this kind only […]

The Freedom Riders

“Make ready for the Christ, whose smile- like lightning- sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps in your paper flesh- like dynamite.”-Thomas Merton Just the other day my son played his first basketball game as the only […]

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 […]

The Wise Men “Tebowed”

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:11 “Tebowing,” or that characteristic bow in reverent prayer on the football field that derives its name from Denver […]

Resurrection at Wendy’s

“Thank you for resurrecting me,” she stammered, a crooked smile breaking out across her face.  “Merry Christmas.” A moment of lucidity.  Then she was back in her own world, her eyes beholding some distant shoreline, her mutterings only understandable to […]

Make Love Not War: A Christmas Story

I promised you a Christmas story.  This one is a Christmas story in several unique ways.  It’s a story about God’s grace not as a distant ideal but as an embodied, tangible, very personal encounter. And it’s a story about […]

From Disciples to Fisher People: Weird Sayings Continued…

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will […]

The One, Unforgivable Thing: Weird Sayings Continued

“If anyone speaks a word against the son of man, it will be forgiven.  But if anyone speaks a word against the Holy Spirit, it won’t be forgiven, either in the present age or in the age to come” (Matthew […]

“I Want Jesus!”

“I want Jesus!,” my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter exclaimed the other day, as she grasped for the ceramic baby Jesus in the nativity scene on our kitchen table. These days when advertisers prostitute themselves for our dollars and every manner of holiday […]

Backhanded Compliments: Weird Sayings Continued

“I’m telling you the truth: John the Baptist is the greatest mother’s son there ever was.  But even the least significant person in heaven’s kingdom is greater than he is.”  Matthew 11:11 (translation is N.T. Wright, Matthew for Everyone) It can almost […]

The Advent Conspiracy: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Foxes have their dens and the birds in the air have their nests.  But the son of man has nowhere he can lay his head.”  Matthew 8:20 “Black Friday” has come and gone, but the staggering figures remain.  Americans spent […]

Kingdom of Heaven Acrobatics: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued…

“Don’t suppose that I came to destroy the law and the prophets.  I didn’t come to destroy them; I came to fulfill them!  I’m telling you the truth: until heaven and earth disappear, not one stroke, not one dot, is […]

Food for Thought: Would You Agree?

 

Stylito Heels: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a […]

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body- whether […]

The Octopus and the Quarter

“How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Mark 10:23, […]

Is Jesus Big?: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3,4 “…anyone who will not receive the kingdom […]

“The Little Ones”: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to trip up…it would be better for them to have a huge millstone hung around their neck and be drowned out in the deep sea.” Matthew 18:6 Jesus could […]

Skeleton at the Beauty Parlor: Weird Jesus Sayings Continued

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 Every Halloween my neighborhood with its white picket fences and wrap-around porches magically transforms into an ethereal, other-worldly realm of flying ghosts, cackling witches and lit-up pumpkins. This year […]

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 […]

For a Saint Named Betty

For all the saints, who from their labors rest, Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. Alleluia, Alleluia!… Betty died peacefully in her sleep last week.  She was 88.  I had coffee with her husband […]

“Supply-Side Jesus”

Al Franken was more creative than I am this morning.  Besides, the “gospel” in certain politicans’ rhetoric about how to fix America’s unemployment crisis really does resemble this sometimes:  Like the other day when Rick Perry told the New York […]

Wanted: A Few Salty Men and Women

“For everyone will be salted with fire.  Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and be at  peace with one another.”  Mark 9:49,50 This passage is weird in […]

Weird Jesus Sayings Continued…

 Yes, I haven’t forgotten.  After a brief hiatus we’re continuing our exploration of the weird  things Jesus said.  And, there are plenty of them.  We’ve only scraped the surface in our big  dig. Thus far we’ve asked the questions that […]

What Distinguishes the Suffering of a Follower of Christ?

Most of us at one point or another have asked the question, “Why does God allow suffering?”  Frustratingly, the Bible I read never gives an answer.  Suffering is simply a given.  A bit like the bumper sticker, “Shit happens.” Except […]

Confession of a Yard Sale Junkie

I confess I’m a yard sale junkie.  On most any Saturday the signs in the neighborhood trigger those irrepressible hunter-gatherer instincts. In no time I am digging through other people’s junk looking for treasure. It is amazing, too, what turns […]

Jesus Walks On Water

Remember the crazy story about Peter and Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)?  To refresh our memories…Peter and the disciples are out in a boat in the middle of the night when Jesus appears, taking a little stroll on the […]

What Jesus Really Said at the Last Supper…

according to artist Sister Louisa, whose irreverent humor I encountered the other day in my favorite greasy-breakfast joint:

Matzo Ball Love: Weird Sayings Continued…

“‘Go!  I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.’” Luke 10:3   “These were his instructions:  ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff- no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.  Wear sandals but not an extra […]

Playing Host to Our Demons: Weird Sayings Continued…

“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept […]

Jesus as Renaissance Man: Weird Sayings Continued…

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth onto an old coat.  The patch will simply pull away from the coat, and you’ll have a worse hole than you started with. People don’t put new wine into old wineskins, otherwise […]

Was Jesus Racist? Weird Sayings Continued…

“A Canaanite woman from [Tyre and Sidon] came out and shouted,  ‘Have pity on me, son of David!  My daughter is demon-possessed!  She’s  in a bad way!’  Jesus, however, said nothing at all to her.  His disciples came up.  ‘Please […]

Was Jesus a Macho Kind of Guy? Weird Sayings Continued…

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a […]

Weird Jesus Sayings Continued: “Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead.”

Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:21,22 This is politically incorrect Jesus at, arguably, His best.  The […]

“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 […]

Weird Jesus Sayings: A Series of Investigations

The Bible attributes some pretty odd sayings to Jesus.  Over the next days and weeks I will be looking at the strange, sometimes bizarre, often politically incorrect things Jesus reportedly said in the Gospels with a view to understanding a […]

Previous Posts

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," ...

posted 2:19:02pm Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Help End Loan Shark Lending and One Cause of Poverty with This Short Survey
When this video [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsDUQpUfRzg[/youtube] recently went viral, I was rooting for the shark. Not so when it comes to loan sharks, who are one contributor to systemic poverty and sharply growing income ...

posted 10:39:17am Jul. 09, 2015 | read full post »

The Recovery-Minded Church Available for Pre-Order—and a Peek at the Cover!
It's been too long! Vacation, a family lice infestation, sickness, and preparation for a home renovation—much of it occurring at the same time—fun, huh?—have kept me away from this intersection. But I couldn't not share my delight at the ...

posted 6:07:11pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Poverty vs. Privilege
Lately, I've been learning about poverty ...

posted 8:02:30pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

David Brooks and "The Big Me"—A Critique
In the midst of preparing for this major house renovation, ...

posted 3:55:10pm Jun. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.