Celebrating an Honorable and Vital Nation

As I transitioned from high school to college I had a burning desire to enter into politics. My patriotism burned hot.

 

On the wall of my bedroom were hung two replicas of paintings that I had paid a good portion of my meager income as a bag boy to have framed: John Trumbull’s famous depiction of […]

Bilbo The Brave

Son, Jeremiah, and daughter-in-law, Caroline, have a crossbreed named Luna at their new home in Oakland, California. She barks a bit. Mostly at the many squirrels who climb the branches of the redwood trees in their back yard.

I told Jeremiah that since Luna was part Old English sheepdog, she had bravery and protectiveness built into […]

Pentecost 5 Racist? Who me?

The second reading for the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost is Romans 7.15-25a

 

 

When I hear people of color today cry out against systemic racism, I want to reply, “I’m not racist.” I want to object that this country has come so far from the days of slavery and the sins of the Confederacy, that surely we […]

Pentecost 4: The Slavery That Frees

Romans 6:12-23

 

This Sunday is a call to the slavery that frees us for life.

 

Some people are all about “freedom.” But they haven’t the foggiest idea what that means. In this pandemic they have become slaves to a political lie that wearing a face mask is an insult to our President—a man who has consistently minimized […]

Pentecost 3: Fear, Love, and Our New Family

Matthew 10:24-39

 

We have several pandemics going on. The most threatening is the pandemic of polarization. The Devil’s favorite weapon is polarization, or should we say scattering. Strike the shepherd and scatter the flock.

 

The forces of polarization peddle an alternate reality. They want to shake things up—sow confusion—divide and conquer. And the way they do this […]

Pentecost 2: Sheep into the Midst of Wolves

Gospel for Proper 6 (Pentecost 2) Series A

Matthew 9:35–10:8 (10:9–23)

 

This is the year of Matthew in the Revised Common Lectionary. But this is the Sunday we get our first real introduction to what it means to be Christ-followers—what it means to be a genuine part of the church.

 

And it isn’t pretty! And it is not […]

K9 Playtime Therapy

Zac protects the tennis ball as Hector and Betty urge him to give it up so that the game can go on. Who takes care of whom during the pandemic?  These Border Collies provide much needed inoculation against boredom and depression.  Photo by John

Trinity Sunday: Put Things (Back) in Order

Things Fall Apart is the title of the powerful 1958 book by the late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. It tells of the tragic life of a young man, trying to find respect for himself and his family by overcoming what he considers the failed and ignominious legacy of his father. It also tells of the arrival […]

Pentecost, the Spirit, and the Murder of George Floyd

This coming Sunday is Pentecost. One possible First Reading is Numbers 11.24-30 which relates the one-time, special, but official outpouring of the Spirit of God on a select group of elders of the Hebrew people. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were supposed to gather with the special group of elders, but somehow didn’t make it. […]

Ascension Sunday: Ants in our pants over reopening?

Ascension Sunday First Reading: Acts 1.1-11.

Gospel: Luke 24.44-53

 

I vividly remember my parents teasing me about my youthful impatience. They would ask, “Do you have ants in your pants?”

 

It’s been a couple of months now for our stay-at-home orders. People are demonstrating on street corners and at state houses. Shop and restaurant owners are chomping at […]