Tag Archives: grace

Let your life speak

A week ago we were celebrating Reformation Sunday and the church renewal movement launched by Martin Luther. It’s too soon, only a week later, to overlook his teaching about the Feast of All Saints and the renewal of our faith. Here’s what he had to say about the day: “Here is the true foundation for […]

On welcoming sinners

Your responses last week to my three questions – What is your greatest need? What is your greatest hope? What is your most urgent question? – were thoughtful and challenging. It will be an enriching experience to explore them with you. Among your responses were several about how to live a more faithful life. Then […]

Companions in the journey

Sometimes Jesus just seems cranky, like during this road trip through Samaria (Luke 9:51-62). Someone offers to follow him, and Jesus encourages him to reconsider. You’ll have no place ever again to call home, Jesus tells him, no place even to rest (vv. 57-58). Jesus invites another, who wants to honor his father, and tells […]

Allow

Yesterday I wrote that the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matt. 25:1-13) is not about how we prepare for what comes in the future but “is a characterization of a way of living that makes us and keeps us open and receptive to the fullness of grace – call it the kingdom of […]

Give me your hand

Sixty-five years ago, an Anglican priest in London, England, changed the way we talk about faith. John Bertram Phillips published a little book, Your God Is Too Small, that pushed beyond the popular notions of God and challenged his readers to redefine a higher power in ways that were relevant to the issues of his […]

Time for stillness

“Be still,” we’re invited. And the fruit of stillness – genuine stillness, not the interstitial pause between the many agenda that claim our attention – will be an experiential knowledge of the Something Deeper that dwells in stillness, the something we call “God” (Psalm 46:10). Being still requires a lot of slowing down, for me, […]

Valedictory

On the occasion of my last Sunday serving as pastor of the Williamsville (New York) United Methodist Church. This is the season for valedictory and commencement addresses. At high schools, colleges, and universities all over the country, speakers try to make sense of the bittersweet stew of farewells and new beginnings. United Methodist clergy on […]

Vessel of grace

1992 was a bad year for Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. The Prince of Wales separated from Diana, whose de facto autobiography, published that same year, depicted her as a betrayed, self-mutilating bulimic. Sarah, the recently estranged wife of her other son, the Duke of York, appeared in the tabloids topless, having her toes nibbled by […]

If your heart

The first time I received the Lord’s Supper, I believe, was while I was in seminary. Since I was confirmed as a youth I had often received the bread and cup. One of my earliest memories of the church is the taste of communion. As a student pastor I served communion in my parish. But […]

The spice of life

Variety is the spice of life, they say. Life is more interesting when it includes a variety of experiences, and the wider the variety the more interesting it becomes. Variety also seems to be the spice of creation, something that may make heaven and earth more interesting to God. When I take even a cursory […]