Tag Archives: gospel

Blessed to be a blessing

To be filled, we need to be empty: Clay gives shape to a bowl, but it’s the emptiness within that makes it useful. To speak, we first need to be silent: “He who does not understand your silence,” Elbert Hubbard said, “will probably not understand your words.” To gain wisdom, we need to live with […]

Come and see

“Come and see,” Jesus said to those would-be followers who wanted to know where he was staying, and they came and saw, or so the story goes (John 1:39). But often seeing is not as easy as that. I can look and look at what is obvious to someone else and not see a thing. […]

This call is for you

When our celebration of Christmas ends, theologian and poet Howard Thurman tells us that the work of Christmas begins: “To find the lost, / To heal the broken, / To feed the hungry, / To release the prisoner, / To rebuild the nations, / To bring peace among brothers [and sisters], / To make music […]

Almost Christian

It’s profoundly ironic that we’ve created a Sunday called Christ the King (the gospel for the day is Luke 23:33-43) to celebrate Jesus, who went out of his way to avoid being made a king. We sing, “Crown him with many crowns, . . . and hail him as thy matchless king,” despite reading that […]

You are set free

The story of the woman with the crippling spirit (Luke 13:10-17) is not one of the more familiar healing stories, but it ought to be. There are so many ways it touches our lives, it’s hard to know where to focus – the woman with the crippling spirit; the leader of the synagogue, who was […]

The power of one

Have you been saved? I remember the last time someone asked me that question. It was during my undergraduate years when I was working at a funeral home – an oddly appropriate place to ask the question, don’t you think – and someone whom I vaguely knew came up to me and asked with all […]

Language of the heart

Every Christian, and every congregation that professes to be part of the body of Christ, is ultimately concerned with two things. There are many other particular concerns, but I believe it’s absolutely necessary to be able to make a direct connection between each one of those other concerns and the first two. If we cannot […]

On love for one’s enemies

Sometimes it seems Jesus expects too much of us. The invitation he offers makes the life of discipleship look pretty good. When we look closer, however, things look different. Jesus promises “more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG). He says: Don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing; […]

On blessings and woes

Call it what you will – the reign of God, the kingdom of heaven, the more and better life than you ever dreamed of having (John 10:10 MSG) – the quality of life you’ve been yearning for is right under your nose, and most of us never see it (Gosp. Thomas 113). Why don’t we? […]

Time to get real

Do you like surprises? I do. I like to be surprised by the new and different and unexpected, by things that add a little zip to life. I also like those surprises to be safe. I don’t like surprises that threaten things I depend on. I shy away from surprises that destabilize things I count […]