Third Sunday of Easter Luke 24:13-35

Eyes to See

Once there was a shoemaker who was saying his prayers before bed when he heard a voice saying, “I will visit you tomorrow.” The shoemaker did not usually hear voices, but this one was unmistakable. He had never heard the voice before, but he recognized it immediately, and as the voice spoke, a warm golden glow filled the room. The shoemaker knew. Jesus would be coming to pay a call on him.Continue Reading

Good Friday John 18:1 — 19:42

It is finished. He is dead. The struggle is over, and the very last words he said from the cross were showing that even to the last moment, he is in charge: “It is finished.”

Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest, author, and professor, says that when she was a hospital chaplain, her supervisor said that the best way to get a patient to talk was simply to sit down and say, “Tell me about it.”Continue Reading

Palm Sunday Matthew 26:14 — 27:66

Turned Upside Down

Today Jesus is entering the most troubled place in the world. It is a place of struggle, conflict and confrontation. It has a history of killing the prophets, fighting wars, and living in violence. It is a place in turmoil. The most troubled place in the world is not, however, a geographic location but the human heart. The reality that our hearts are the most troubled place in the world is as true now as it was at the time of Christ.Continue Reading

Fifth Sunday in Lent John 11:1-45

Stepping Out

The story of the raising of Lazarus is found only in the gospel according to John, and it is a disturbing narrative. The death is untimely and Jesus’ behavior seems out of character; though he loves the family, he does not rush to help them. When Jesus does arrive, we are told that Lazarus has been dead for four days. According to Jewish tradition of the time, the soul lingers for only three days after death, so that Lazarus is shown to be indisputably past hope.Continue Reading

Fourth Sunday in Lent John 9:1-41

Missing the Celebration

It is surprising that no one in this parable seems to be happy for the man born blind. By virtue of his handicap, he would have been isolated from the rest of the community and from ordinary relationships. He would have been limited to sitting at the edge of the village and begging. In one brief encounter, Jesus removes the man’s blindness. You would think that this miracle of healing would be cause for celebration.

But no one seems to be celebrating.Continue Reading

Second Sunday in Lent John 3:1-17

You Gotta

Today’s Gospel lesson contains the single best known Bible passage anywhere in the world.

I didn’t research that sweeping statement, but I strongly suspect that I’m right. The verse is John 3:16. Say it with me – without looking: For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in him shall never perish but shall have everlasting life.Continue Reading

First Sunday in Lent Matthew 4:1-11

Two Questions

Few scenes in Scripture give us as vivid a picture of sin. The trouble with sin is not that it is ugly, although we say “ugly as sin.” Rather, the trouble is that it is so often so attractive and appealing. We’re so busy looking out for the figure in the red suit with the forked tail and the pitchfork, trailing clouds of sulfur, that we fall into the easy rut of sin without even realizing it. What Jesus knows, what the Tempter has forgotten, is that “sin comes about because of its middle letter,” as Jan Karon says. “It’s the seeking of our will instead of God’s.” When we put I first, we fall to the sin of Eve and Adam, we decide that we know best, and we desire to become like God.Continue Reading