Category Archives: story

Bless, and do not curse or kill

Peter is angry, I’m angry, and we each struggle to see the way forward.
Then there’s Jesus.
Do not set your mind on earthly things, he admonishes. Don’t get mired in anger and defeat. Do heal the sick, do bring good news to the poor, do raise up the broken-hearted; but don’t confuse crucifixion with failure. Continue reading

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Elements of creation, currency of compassion

What would we pay to defray the risk of storing explosive chemicals among people’s living spaces? What would we give for an economy that could never be said to depend upon a thousand deaths per day from pandemic to stay afloat? What would we confront in order to be able to offer a cup of clean water to the children of Flint?
What would it take for us to get out of the boat? Continue reading

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Who among you: an open letter about guns

An open letter to the Ohio Senate 133rd General Assembly regarding Senate Bill 137: Exempt from training if allowed to go armed in school safety zone. Continue reading

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Slow to anger

Of course, we hold one another accountable for egregious actions, words, attitudes. Of course, where there is evil at work, we can and should respond with a little bit of “good trouble”.* Of course, there are rightful consequences. But we do not own the wheat, or its harvest, and the weeds are not ours to destroy. At the end of the age, Jesus says, it is the angels who will exercise judgement over us.
*John Lewis’ phrase Continue reading

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How to grow a prayer life

We have been transplanted into a new and enduring reality. We know now that this new situation will last longer than any of us imagined at the beginning. If we are not to be choked up by the troubles or cares of the world, we need to take care of the soil of our souls, and the loam of our lives, if we are to continue as good mediums for God’s Word. Continue reading

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The colour of God

We do not hear the word “slave” in the same language as Paul wrote it. We don’t even hear it in the same way as one another. Because of our place in the world, we cannot help but hear the language of slavery in Black and White. Whomever we claim as our ancestors, we cannot hear the word, “slave,” without our history colouring it in.

I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you that is a particular, spiritual problem for people who look like me. Continue reading

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A new creation

As the Ark drifted on the surface of creation for months, by biblical account, not for forty days, but forty days followed by one hundred and fifty days followed by a season of gradual abatement of the waters first from the uninhabitable mountain tops and only slowly to a level where a man and his family and somewhere between two and fourteen of every kind of animal in the world might have room to disembark – as life on the Ark stretched from month to month, its inhabitants must have found some sort of routine, some rhythm, some method of accounting for the days and their demands, but God knows, it cannot have felt anything like normal. And what followed, after the tide ebbed, after they all emerged, after Noah built an altar and made his sacrifice to God; what followed was a new creation, the sign of the rainbow in the sky. Continue reading

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Easter 2: What Thomas saw

A sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter in 2020, preached from home. Continue reading

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Wednesday 2020: Cornerstone

Look for the cornerstone, smutted and mossed, every so often sandblasted clean, surprising anew; not the one five blocks up with date and name, but below, at ground level, hefting the weight of the world, unnoticed for the most part, … Continue reading

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Why did this happen?

When Jesus and his disciples come across a blind man begging, the disciples ask a question that the sages have answered in various ways throughout the ages: why is there suffering in the world? Why do even the unarguably innocent – babies and children – suffer? Why do we live with these questions from birth and throughout our lives, even in the midst of joy, even in the midst of love, even with Jesus walking right next to us? Continue reading

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