I really like to have the right answers. That’s why, when I started my theological studies many years ago, I struggled with my own inclinations toward legalism. Legalism was comfortable for me. It spared me from the complexities of life because it often provided straightforward responses grounded in phrases like, “because the Bible says so.” It took time for me to realize that a legalistic, literal interpretation of scripture wasn’t the sole way to read the Bible, and, in fact, it could stifle life’s beautiful complexity.Read More
This week in Luke 16, Jesus shares the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus at his gates — a strange story full of inversions for any listener.
This story isn’t an isolated tale. It comes as part of a series of parables, beginning in Luke 15, that are told in the presence of his disciples; the gathered crowd, including tax collectors and sinners; and the Pharisees. I picture the Pharisees on the edgeRead More
The house, the house, the house! We finally had it, and yet the deeper impulse behind the desire remained elusive. After a few months of living crammed together, we began expanding our home’s footprint. It wasn’t just going to be sufficient, it was going to be the biggest house in the whole development. The yardstick for our desire, our success, had moved.Read More
I imagine the rich man at the beginning of his day. He is a man about town, with pressing matters on his mind and very important people to meet. I am easily persuaded that someone like him has no time to volunteer with a local charity or dedicate himself to the protection of the less fortunate. But then we find Lazarus right outside his gate.Read More