Blessed are the Underachievers

While the “Most Likely To Succeed” badge may come with a superstitious curse attached, the “Class Mooch” has a very real cultural curse attached to it. In America we celebrate self-made successful people, and look down on the moochers who are dependent on others. What do we make of Jesus’s 3rd Beatitude that seems to promise the farm to the underachieving brother?

Pure Thanksgiving (Skye Jethani)

Beneath the surface, sometimes even hidden from our own awareness, may lurk a more manipulative intent behind our gratitude. The believer sometimes thinks — If I offer these prayers, if I give these sacrifices, and if I show my gratitude for past blessings, then God will bless me again.

Advent 2020 Overview

The Beatitudes of Bethlehem A new kind of Kingdom was born in Bethlehem that first Christmas. This was to be an upside-down Kingdom that would flip the script on who is really blessed and who is not in God’s unfolding plan. The babe in a manger would grow […]

Blessed are the Poor Shepherds

Ebenezer Scrooge had a hard time grasping and embracing the spirit and message of Christmas. The rich and self-sufficient always do. Their own personal kingdoms loom so large that they have a hard time making room for God’s Kingdom—and all the poor and lowly riff-raff to whom it belongs.

Boyhood Epiphany on a Garage Roof

Thirty years have passed since I sat on the garage roof staring up at the night sky. The worries and cares of a middle schooler have been upgraded to the burdens of a father, husband and pastor living in this current moment of darkness and fear. Perhaps, this Advent, you also feel like we’re sitting collectively on a cold and icy roof, staring up at the Heavens and badly need to hear these words this Advent: “The people sitting in a pandemic have seen a great light, and to those sitting in the land and shadow of covid, a light has dawned on them” (Matt 4:16).