Our New Prophet

Exhortation for Morning Prayer Lessons: Amos 7:1-9, Rev. 1:1-8 In the Bible, a prophet is someone who has been invited into the counsels of God. He is a friend of God like Abraham, like Moses, like Amos who has been granted access to God’s deliberations about the story of human history. Amos deliberated with God about…

A Starbucks Run Blindfolded

Often we set ourselves up to lose certain arguments by the way we define our terms. We sit there on the branch, manfully sawing the dern thing, and then we wonder how we ended up on the ground with the knot on our head. One of those arguments has to do with the role of…

Praying into the Goodness

Hymns of praise are not very frequent at the beginning of the book [of Psalms], but as you read on, you will find more and more of them. It is as though the more you pray, the more you will realize God’s goodness. -Gordan Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, 43.

With Christ in the Dark: Ps. 88

Sixth Sunday in Trinity Season: Psalm 88, 1 Pet. 4:12-19, Mk. 15:25-39 Introduction The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms means “praises,” but it may come as a surprise that that the most common kind of psalm is a lament. These are psalms that describe enemies or threats and cry out to God for…

Our Babel Moment

I’ve grown up in the middle of the Media-Lucy-and-Charlie-Brown game. So I don’t believe anything they say. I don’t believe the suits. I don’t believe the shiny smiles. I don’t believe your sexy low-cut blouse. I don’t watch the news. I don’t read it. I subscribe to no newspapers. I do not have cable television….

A Prayer For These Days

Almighty and Most Merciful God: You spoke the worlds into existence. The mountains stand by your command. The oceans toss and foam because you tell them to. The earth shakes at the sound of your voice. When we disobeyed your voice, when we did not love your Word, the world grew wicked and so you…

The Newtown inside all of Us

There’s a Newtown, Connecticut inside all of us. Everyone hurts. Everyone reels. Everyone sees the pictures, sees the names, reads their stories, and we all swallow back the tears. Death hurts. Death stings. We mourn with those who mourn. There’s the initial ache (and we do). I have a six year old daughter, who might…

Shining Faces

In our sermon text today, we noted that the tabernacle and the priests were anointed with oil for their dedication. In the New Testament, all Christians are ordained to the new priesthood through the water of baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But in James 5 it says that if anyone is sick,…

Pleading with Joy

This is the last Sunday in Trinity Season. This is the close of the second half of the Church year in which we celebrate the work of the Spirit since Pentecost in the history of the Church. We remember the powerful work of the Spirit in the ordinary things of life and in ordinary people…

Trampling Death Beneath Our Feet

Since a few folks have asked for a copy, here’s the prayer I offered at Mike Rench’s memorial service this last Friday: Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling over death by death. O Death, where is your sting! O Hell, where is your victory! But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory…