There’s so much in those few words we hear year after year: “laid him in a manger;” “no room in the inn.” But there’s a problem.
Do you believe Jesus will come again, anytime, maybe soon? Don’t say: “The Bible says he’s coming.” Do you really believe it, in your heart of hearts?
This gospel story is the first choice of many preachers for Thanksgiving Sunday in any year. It’s still a challenging text. We have to try to preach about gratitude without turning the sermon into a guilt trip.
I’m as Presbyterian as can be. But there are a lot of Catholics in my family tree, and in the twigs and branches of my generation. I guess that’s why, when I lose something and I get really worked up about it, I pray to Saint Anthony of Padua.
The book of Hosea is an extended rant by a God who is mad with love for a covenant partner, mad with hurt for that partner’s unfaithfulness, just plain mad at human stupidity and arrogance.
Luke gives us some details. The mourners walk with a widow. Her only son has died. This is how Luke frames miracle stories. An important relationship has been broken.
Picture an old saint named John. He lives on the rocky island of Patmos, a prisoner for his faith. Under the rule of Rome. He dreams of Jerusalem.
The newborn church is still trying to figure out who’s in and who’s out. What does it take for someone who isn’t from the first generation to become a follower on the Way?
We don’t expect God to command us to forget! Especially in the middle of a rehearsal of all God has done for us in the past.
I’m reflecting on our reading from Deuteronomy within days of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report. It’s hard to read a text that sets a liturgy of thanksgiving for a people who believe God has given them someone else’s land.
Can a Christian be spiritual but not religious?
Luke tells us in his stories of Jesus and of the apostles’ acts of faith and daring, that all unfolded within the
Roman Empire, but beyond imperial control.
Advent comes but once a year. That doesn’t make preaching in Advent easier. We’d rather think and worship ahead to Christmas.
I offer preachers who will wrestle with Job this month my heartfelt sympathies.
I preached my first sermon on Palm Sunday, 40 years ago. Like most first-time preachers I believed I had to say everything I thought could be said about the topic.
The tale of King David, Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite is the stuff soap opera is made of.
Read the books of Samuel and make your own choices. Some things the lectionary leaves out are important.
Peter must have had sore eyes and an aching jaw from all the revelations he had received in just a short span of time.
Preachers are afraid they might upset some members of their congregations. They are afraid to say what they really believe about Jesus’ crucifixion.
This is a book about humility. That’s genuine humility, which preachers in our part of the world often lack. We talk about humility and then demonstrate that we’re not prepared to attend to voices other than our own, or to the Bible as others may read it.