Jesus Calls All Religions to Repent and Reform

If Christians understood Jesus as he came to us, as the One who calls all religions to reform and repentance, we would listen to and respect, and not ignore or hate, the voices of all other faiths.

Concerned citizens gathered this past week at the Islamic Center of DeKalb, Illinois, to share grief, hope, and shared […]

The Banquet of the Blessed and Unblessed

Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

 

Amy-Jill Levine has a nice Youtube presentation on Jesus’ parables of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (the Gospel for this Sunday in Luke 15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIxpPZvqGdI&t=6s

Levine would rather call them the parables of the Frantic Woman, the Frantic Shepherd, and the Frantic […]

Try Being Less Spiritual and More Decent

“What then should we do?”

That was the cry of the crowds who were touched by John the Baptist’s message in the region of the Jordan, that God’s ax was laid at the root of the trees, and those that produced no good fruit would be cut down (Luke 3:9).

What are those good fruits? What are […]

Mary Magdalene: The Easter Angel

The Easter Gospel: John 20:1-18

Very often, my wife, Connie, will see me growing cranky looking for something. She says, “What are you looking for?” And no sooner than I name the elusive thing, she finds it. And often it had been hiding in plain sight, right in front of my nose.

Mary Magdalene pulls the same […]

Reflections on Lessons Pentecost 23 A

We had a spirited discussion today in our weekly Bible study of area pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It was fed by a feeling of dread about recent signs of sickness in our society. One of our number put it something like this. “Why is it that we are Christians, and […]

What Lives Matter? What Truths Matter?

What is it that feeds resentment in today’s political climate?

National Public Radio’s David Greene in a piece that ran on NPR’s Morning Edition on October 30, 2017, asked a woman named Jessica, who lives in southern Virginia, and is also a member of a group called “League of the South,” about her reasons for joining a […]

Heatherhope Believes In A Dynamic Church

Easter morning listening to the radio. National Public Radio represents the best of broadcast journalism. But I heard exactly two references to the great Christian Festival Day of Easter. One was an offhand comment, just before the segment with “puzzle master Will Shorts,” in which the host noted that many listeners would possibly be away […]

More "Us" and Less World in Prayers

Of course, we all know it is a travesty for prayers and sermons to chant on about this and that abstraction. We heap up metaphors but cannot, for the life of us, speak in an apposite way or about practical truths. Saved by the blood of the cross? We explain it using ten more abstractions, and in […]

Advent People during Anxious Times

I returned to the congregation I served as pastor for a dozen years and was refreshed by the community of Christ and a service of Lessons and Carols for Advent.

 

I was thirsty for Advent. I don’t buy into the paranoia pitched by Fox News about a so-called “war on Christmas,” but I do lament a […]

Ferguson Is Bigger than Any Grand Jury Decision

All this fuss over waiting for a grand jury decision!

 

But there is more to the story than Michael Brown lying dead and Darren Wilson having pulled the trigger. Of course the tragedy of that single death is immense. Of course the agony that Michael Brown’s family and friends are going through is unfathomable. So is […]