Sermon: Paul’s Christmas Secret

The guy must be nuts! Look at him sitting there on a hard dirt floor, the smell of human waste thick in the air, hands raised to the sky with big smile beaming from ear to ear as he prays to his god! While his body appears to be wasting away—thin and frail from months in a prison cell—he seems to wake up each new morning with his spirit fully recharged and filled with inexplicable joy! I can’t make any sense of it.

Prayers & Tears at the Poll

I went to the polls on Election Day to cast votes, and ended up casting non-partisan prayers for all the candidates. As I stood over that ballot with pen in hand, looking at all the names and offices, tears dropped down indiscriminately on the ovals below. I turned that little space into a prayer closet…

A Desert Prayer

I need to drown again in the regenerating waters of my baptism. I’m drowning on the world’s air and gasping for water this week. I preached about abiding in the Christ on Sunday, and have spent the entire week making sand castles in a God-forsaken desert.

Martin Luther: Comforting the Sick

I know the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation is over, but I just happened upon an old essay I wrote on Luther’s pastoral approach to the sick and dying I found interesting. Martin Luther’s book Comfort For the Sick and Dying provides a window into his faith and theology as it is worked out in the face…

Q&A: Why do prayers go unanswered?

“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, TEACHING in the synagogues…and he HEALED every kind of disease and illness” (Matt 9:35). My sermon text for this Sunday is Mark 1:29-39 which displays Jesus’ powerful healing ministry, first with Simon’s mother-in-law, and then “the whole city was gathered around the door” as…

Praying a Psalm with Menno Simons

This week I’m introducing Menno Simons and the Anabaptist movement to our congregation in our final week of Reformation profiles. I struggle in my own prayer life as my mind so easily wanders off. I have found it helpful to pray through scriptures. I often suggest others experiment with this as well. If you want a…

Acts 2:42-47 Rewritten for Today

I’ve been reflecting again on the community life of the first Christians described in Acts 2:42-47. We now stand 2,000 years removed from this first glimpse into the radical social experiment called ‘church’, and we marvel at the quality of their koinonia, or life together. I wonder what Christians 2,000 years in the future (if…

Prayer: No Longer a Slave

No Longer A Slave (Author Unknown) You unravel me with a melody You surround me with a song Of deliverance from my enemies ‘Til all my fears are gone  I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God From my mother’s womb You have chosen me Love has called my name…