Entries by bethany

For All the Far Off

March 31, 2019 On this fourth Sunday in Lent, we hear the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Jesus’ story looks like a cross between a sit-com about a dysfunctional family, and an episode of The Price is Right.  Jesus does mean for us to grasp it as a reality show; both what God’s really like […]

Good Fruits Require Good Roots

March 24, 2019 On this third Sunday in Lent, we see enthusiasts for God come rushing to Jesus trying to make sense of a mass murder motivated by religious prejudice.  “See,” they say, “how God uses evil-doers to punish sinners.” Jesus corrects their claim about God’s judgment and ordinary life, introducing a horror story of […]

God’s Gifts – Identity & Faith

March 17, 2019 Our Early Learning ministry teachers need NEWSPAPERS for an art project.  Please bring in all you can THIS SUNDAY! If you’re still searching for a way to let Lent go through you and create a space where you can come face-to-face with the same issues and questions that bedeviled Jesus in the desert, […]

Lent’s Ways Are Cross-Ways

March 10, 2019 These forty days called Lent are like no other.  It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues; to receive the gifts of God’s grace; to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus; and to resist temptation at every turn. […]

We’re Counter-Cultural

March 6, 2019 Someone asked me if Lutherans “give up something for Lent.”  I answered, “Well, it depends on whether or not you want to become involved with what new thing God gives you in its place.” If Lent is a time to give up anything, it’s a time to give up the illusion that […]

Jesus Filled Big Shoes – So Can We

March 3, 2019 This is Transfiguration Sunday – when Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James, John, go to a mountain to pray.  On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light.  Suddenly, the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.  Jesus is then called […]

Now This is Golden

February 24, 2019 On this seventh and last Sunday of the Epiphany season we hear Jesus speak what we’ve come to call the “Golden Rule.”  Given its place within Jesus’ sermon on the level plain, we ought not to hear it the way we hear those rules from the book, “All I Need to Know […]

Blessed and Ready to Go

February 17, 2019 On this sixth Sunday after Epiphany, we hear Luke’s version of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  This differs, in many ways, from Matthew’s account.  First, it’s a Sermon on the Plain.  Second, it’s addressed, primarily, to those disciples whom Jesus has just called to be apostles, a Greek word meaning – sent […]


February 10, 2019 On this fifth Sunday after Epiphany, we see Jesus’ teaching of God’s word has begun to draw great crowds.  For Simon, James, and John, Jesus’ teaching inspires hospitality, then obedience, and then risk.  After Jesus’ creative power is revealed, fear and amazement lead these three fishermen to leave everything behind in order […]