Liberating Rest

How are you?

Good. Busy. How about you?

Oh, you know, busy, busy! But good!

This may be the most frequent exchange I hear before and after worship each week. We know we’re too busy to breathe. We know this way of life is killing us and the earth. But we don’t know how to stop.

Read More

PROPER 4 (9) – Year B

Mark 2:23-3:6

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

2:24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”

2:25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food?

Read More

Master of Allusion

Creator Sets Free (the name used for Jesus in the First Nations Translation of the Bible) is seeking to set the Pharisees, and all of us, free from the rules and rituals we use to define ourselves over and against other people.

Read More

Where are his people?

Today’s passage tells of Jesus’ encounter with a demon-possessed man. This isn’t the only story about possession in the Bible, but it’s one of the more dramatic: exorcised demons cast into a herd of pigs, a man healed and restored to society, and a community struggling to grasp what God was doing right before their eyes.

Read More

The Unreasonable Work of Liberation

He must be possessed, they say. Because God’s logic looks like insanity to those of us who’ve become accustomed to the world’s logic. All this disruption, this chaos, must be demonic, they say.

Read More

The Cost of Liberation

We see people in our cities struggling everyday with their own demons: mental health, substance abuse, homelessness and more. We know, however, that their healing and restoration will require some sort of sacrifice on the part of the community and of the individual.

Read More

Can Evil Drive Out Evil?

“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Read More

New Skin to Bear the World

“I am suffering, it really hurts. It has been unbelievably painful for me to be confronted with the enormous division that exists in Nicaragua between those of us who profess Christ. Supposedly we make up 41% of the population but we have not been able to find any unity of response in the face of the deep woundedness of our nation. Those who are reacting in an active manner in the middle of this crisis are judging negatively those who have chosen to remain in their churches praying and fasting and those who have chosen to pray are attacking those who are practicing active resistance. And then there are others who have simply decided not to express themselves nor respond in any way whatsoever.”

Read More

The Question

In the text we’re tackling this month, Jesus is accused of being “out of his mind”…and worse. The scribes accuse Jesus of being Beelzebul, a demon who casts out other demons. Jesus absorbs the deadly accusation and turns it into a teachable moment. That alone is worth a lifetime of reflection.

Read More

As if They Were Gods

I can imagine a mingling of terror, fire, and joy within Rev. Henry Highland Garnet as he hobbled to the podium on a chilly February Sunday in 1865. There was certainly a sense of terror during the last months of the Civil War and its steadily climbing death toll of 620,000 souls. Garnet’s fire came from his drive to abolish the institution of slavery and its horrors. Joy must have overtaken him, considering he had been born into slavery not far from the podium from where he spoke. And now he stood as the first African American to deliver a speech within the United States Capitol.

Read More

The Marvel of Saving Faith

There are only two places where the Bible tells us that Jesus is amazed. In our lectionary text this week, Jesus marvels at the faith of a Roman centurion. In…

Read More

Dismantling and Re-framing Family

Spend any time at all in communities challenged by poverty and violence, and you will encounter people who have spent formative stages of life without the blessing of family. Such hardships may be part of your own story, and you know the reality all too well.

For abandoned people – who may be found in any corner of society – the words of Jesus in Mark 3 can provide genuine comfort and hope. Jesus re-frames and re-constitutes “family” in such a way that it includes those formerly excluded.

Read More