Now What? A sermon for troublemakers

Church signs on one of the main streets in Tucson, AZ tell the story of our holiday.  On the Wednesday, after Christmas, five signs still advertise the Christmas Eve/Day worship services.  One tells of a group that meets there, Alienated Catholics Anonymous…it was at a Catholic church.  And then there is the one at a … Continue reading Now What? A sermon for troublemakers

Keeping Christ Alive

On Christmas Eve, for the first time in many years, I simply attended worship. As I sat waiting for the service to begin, I couldn't help but see the many servants who make worship happen. They unfolded chairs for the overflow crowd, hurried outside to make last minute preparations, and turned up the sound to … Continue reading Keeping Christ Alive

Waiting for God

When we spend so much of our lives battling, striving, and working as hard as we can, the image of waiting outside in the dark, hoping for the door to open, is one of the most challenging passages of scripture (Matthew 25, a traditional reading for Advent).  Matthew's ten virgins standing outside, waiting for the … Continue reading Waiting for God

Dyers of Purple Cloth

One day, as they had many times before, a group of women gathered by the river to pray. Among them was Lydia. Scripture tells us she was a dealer in purple cloth, meaning she was a businesswoman. Her name is the same as the name of the state from which came the dyers of cloth, … Continue reading Dyers of Purple Cloth

Speak, I am Listening

Last week, a friend of mine unplugged herself from her cell phone, in spite of the fact that she is a “connector” who enjoys being called. Somehow it had become clear to her that it was the week to stop answering the phone; to stop hearing the stories she had heard again and again. Instead, … Continue reading Speak, I am Listening

Prophecy for Today

The messages of the Old Testament prophets frequently fail to inspire us to love God more. Instead, they can lead us to question the God we came to know as “Love” in Sunday School. God does not seem very loving when God compares the people of Jerusalem to whores who deserve to lose everything. In … Continue reading Prophecy for Today

Make No Mistakes

Breaking through the din of judgment, prophecies of doom, and cries of lament that mark chapter 9 of the book of Jeremiah are these words: Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his … Continue reading Make No Mistakes

A Wandering Aramean was My Ancestor

Change is difficult, especially when it means leaving behind close relationships, financial security, and cherished plans. Last week I spoke with a “new church start” pastor, Reverend David Shirey, who hails from the Midwest.  He had followed God’s leading to Arizona, where his startup church, after 8 years of devotion, has 150 members.  “God has … Continue reading A Wandering Aramean was My Ancestor

The Prime Directive

I was once a great fan of Star Trek, the Next Generation.  Although it still entertains, I find this third time through the series I’m irritated by all the judgment.  I’ve heard often heard that we hate the judgmental God.  We don’t like to hear about sin.  And, yet, one of the most common themes … Continue reading The Prime Directive