Life-giving Transformation

Before Jesus begins his ministry, people from all over Judea go out to the wilderness to John the Baptist.  There they hear John’s message to “repent,” to turn toward a new direction, and receive a baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 3: 1- 6, Mark 1: 2 -6, Luke 3: 1-6, John 1: 19-23).  … Continue reading Life-giving Transformation

The One Voice that Matters

We Christians are a strange lot.  In my mail the other day, on top of the advertisements was one of an unhappy man and an unhappy woman sleeping in the same bed but turned away from one another. A friend of my husband's, shown this flyer, thought it was probably advertising a linen sale. Closer … Continue reading The One Voice that Matters

Pleasing to God

When the firm ground shifts, praise God. As I started to prepare for my next preaching assignment (North Long Beach Christian Church, January 22, 10:45), I turned to this week's lectionary texts--a set of readings used by many Christian churches across denominations.  They struck me with full force. "If riches increase, do not set your … Continue reading Pleasing to God

Able to Forgive

Jesus said to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.  I've come to understand this to mean that if you are seeking to live with God, you will have many opportunities to forgive. My friend Susan suggested that forgiveness is an English word that really should be two different words.  Perhaps she is right. … Continue reading Able to Forgive

An Outsider’s Faith

When Jesus was born, we left behind the promised land.By that first Christmas day, something had happened to the temple--scripture tells us it was no longer a place of true worship.  It no longer led the heart, mind, and soul into the knowledge of the love of God.  Instead, it was a a place of … Continue reading An Outsider’s Faith

For the Love of Mary

During Advent, Mary takes center stage in the Biblical story.  Believers who speak a historical creed speak of her as the Virgin Mary, underscoring the miraculous nature of Jesus' birth.   Some whose faith lives outside of the historical creeds speak of her as a young girl, pregnant before she was married; they see in God's … Continue reading For the Love of Mary

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

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