A Signal for All Nations: The Politics of Advent

Second Sunday in Advent Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction The gospel of Advent, which is to say the gospel of Jesus, is irreducibly political: it aims at nothing less than the greatest common good and harmony of all men. The question is not whether people will have a Lord, the question is only…

Getting Ready for the King

Advent means “coming” or “arrival,” and it is the beginning of the Christian calendar. Historically, Advent begins by celebrating the fact that Jesus will one day come to judge the living and the dead. This is why we sing O Come O Come Emmanuel. We are not in the first instance reenacting what it was…

Pentecost Sunday: Fire From Heaven

Luke XXXVI: Lk. 9:49-62 Introduction Today is Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter, the day we celebrate the pouring out of the Spirit and the birth of the Christian Church. The Text: The theme that ties these three scenes in Luke 9 together is the call to follow Jesus and the way other people and…

Far Better

Ascension Day 2016 Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (Jn. 16:7) The ascension of Jesus is one of the harder things to understand as Christians. From our perspective, it seems like Jesus leaving made everything a…

Liturgical Patriarchy

If I were to write an article about the dangers of patriarchy, my blog hits would spike the way peoples’ hair stands on end in the cartoons when they get electrocuted. Start talking about the husband being the head of his wife or the wife’s sacred duty of submission to her own husband, and everybody…

Resurrection Leadership

Easter Sunday 2016: Acts 10:34-43, 1 Cor. 15:1-11, Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction Christian leadership is not Christian unless it is driven by the centrality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But everything hinges on what that event means. If the resurrection of Jesus is an inspiring spiritual story, then Christian leadership primarily leads people…

The Light of Life

Easter Vigil 2016 “Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” (John 20:1) Going all the way back to the apostles, tradition tells us that Christians have gathered on the night…

Forgiven Kingdom

Luke XXIX: Lk. 7:36-50 Introduction Last time we were in Luke, we saw how Jesus challenged people’s expectations. John questioned Jesus, the Pharisees and lawyers rejected Him, while the tax collectors and sinners justified Him. These same themes continue in the following episode as Jesus continues eating and drinking with sinners. A Dinner After Jesus…

Every Knee

As we enter this season of Lent, I want to say a word of encouragement that speaks directly into our political situation. Some of you may already feel that you are suffering enough with the talking heads and political commentators, but the simple point that I want to make is that we serve the High…

The Threat of Grace

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Jer. 1:1-10, 1 Cor. 13:1-13, Lk. 4:21-30 Introduction Epiphany is the season that celebrates God’s glory bursting out into this world through Jesus. This began at His birth, but it went public at His baptism, in His miracles, and through His preaching and teaching the Scriptures. In many ways, we can…