Standing on Tiptoes

~ Luke 21:25-36 ~ Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas and the coming of the Christ child. But the season of Advent in the church year looks in two directions. It not only looks back on the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, but … Read More

Is the Building the Church?

~ Mark 13:1-8 ~ A few years ago, Linda and I met some friends in Cologne, Germany, at the plaza of the huge medieval cathedral. On this warm summer Sunday, we watched street performers and an incredible sidewalk chalk rendition of a De Vinci painting. Behind us, the weather-darkened façade … Read More

“Two Simple Impossible Commands”

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9/Leviticus 19:18/Mark 12:28-34 ~ In a hostile and violent world, talk about love often seems out of place, naive, simplistic. When there are hard things to contend with love often gets short shrift. When difficult issues demand our attention, we tend to respond out of duty and obligation rather … Read More

“See the Way”

~ Mark 10:46-52/Isaiah 35:1-2, 5-10 ~ When I was an inner-city pastor in Denver in the 80’s I became fascinated with graffiti. We lived in a neighborhood with a considerable gang presence. I learned that graffiti was one of the ways gang members communicated with each other. The police paid … Read More

“The Tyranny of Power”

~ Mark 10:32-45 ~ A question to begin: How many of you are left-handed? Raise your hands. Thank you for your courage. You see there was a time when you wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know that you are left-handed. You would have been the subject of considerable scorn and … Read More

Welcome the Child

~ Mark 9:30-37 ~ Remember the Vietnam war-era poster that said, “War is not healthy for children and other living things?” Well, it’s still not. People do not fare well in war, but especially children. The ongoing wars in Syria and Afghanistan demonstrate this all too brutally. Of the more than … Read More