Tag Archives: reconciliation

Amazing grace

There are a few stand-out passages in our scriptures that sum up the cornerstone of Christian faith, and one of them is in the letter to the Ephesians: “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us […]

An everlasting covenant

We are made for relationship. The desire for relationship is woven into us at creation, and figuring out how to live in authentic relationship with God, with others, and with all of creation is the task of our lifetimes. Our first and deepest desire is for relationship with God. Seventeenth-century French mathematician and theologian Blaise […]

Waiting for God

After Jesus astounded people with his teaching (Mark 1:21-28), he went home with Simon and Andrew and cured Simon’s mother-in-law. Neighbors got wind of it, and soon the whole town showed up, bringing everyone who was ill, and he cured many of them – many, but not all (vv. 29-34). And early the next morning, […]

A life of Christian discipleship

What does it really mean to live a life of Christian discipleship? Since its beginning, the church has been at war with itself over the answer to that question. When Paul was losing the churches he founded to the influence of the church in Jerusalem, he wrote to one of his congregations, “You foolish Galatians! […]

When everything becomes new

Now that we’ve had our fun with Christmas, it’s time to face the implications of Incarnation. Today, as we remember the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:4-11), we change our spiritual menu from Christmas punch and cookies to an austere diet of locusts and wild honey. During Christmas we celebrated the coming of a messiah. Now, […]

If we’re to be whole

Sometimes what Jesus does not say is more important than what he does say. For example, take his instructions for how to respond to someone who sins against you (Matt. 18:15-17). At first, it seems a simple process, and it can be very effective at restoring a strained or broken relationship. But it turns out […]

A Jesus I might follow

An amazing thing happened when Jesus met that Canaanite woman (Matt. 15:21-28). It’s not that Jesus healed the woman’s daughter and might have done so remotely. It’s not that he had close contact with someone his social and religious training insisted he avoid. What’s amazing is that when this foreign woman challenged him, he learned […]

Down by the river

There are blessings that accrue and appreciate only as one’s years accrue. As the time remaining in life decreases, experience increases, and so does, one hopes, wisdom. Perspective lengthens, and in the longest perspective all of life’s experiences – diverse and contradictory as they seem – may be viewed in their proper places, as integral […]

When night has ended

Jesus erases differences so completely, he leaves me dumbfounded. For example, “Whoever welcomes you,” he says to his disciples, “welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matt. 10:40-42). For anyone who welcomes you, you are not merely someone who holds certain beliefs or belongs to a specific faith tradition. You […]

And this is such a time

When will we see the harassed and helpless crowds (Matt. 9:35-38), really see them? When will the concerns of those who’ve been beaten down in life become our concerns, enough to liberate our compassion, enough to break our hearts, enough for their suffering to become our suffering? When will we see the harassed and helpless, […]