Ordinary Time

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Trading Spaces

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What Jesus’s interaction with the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:24-37 tells us about what God is really up to with Jesus the Christ. How the gospel of Mark flips the Christ Event on Jesus. Proper 18B  |  Mark 7:24-37 It was only a chapter ago in the gospel we call Mark when Jesus was trying […]

What God Intends

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What God Intends

In Mark 7, Jesus responds to a challenge over rule-breaking by exposing their hypocrisy. Is this just a takedown, or is he saying something else? The challenge of following Jesus isn’t doing or believing. It’s both. Proper 17B  | Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 We have to go back nearly two months. Back in June, we […]

Who can listen to it?

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Who can listen to it?

At the end of the Bread of Life discourse in John 6, his disciples abandon him. Not because the road is hard, but because Jesus told them the truth. We want to be more effective. Jesus would rather be honest. Proper 16B  | John 6:56-69 You’ve heard of reverse psychology. It’s a simple idea that […]

Does Jesus Jump the Shark?

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Does Jesus Jump the Shark?

Sometimes the problem isn’t whether to read the Bible literally or metaphorically. It’s the asking us to pick which distorts the point. Jesus gets gross with the bread of life. Proper 15B  | John 6:51-58 To be honest, I don’t actually remember the episode. It was so long ago, but I’m sure I’ve seen it. […]

(In)tangible

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(In)tangible

In the Bread of Life discourse, Jesus seeks to teach his followers about God, but they keep missing the point. Just like we do. Jesus shows us how our worry and fear keeps us from the truth. Proper 14B  |  John 6:35, 41-51 It starts with a sign. The hungry masses are fed with a […]

Jesus is not Superman

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Jesus is not Superman

The lectionary cuts up the story in Mark 6:30-34, 53-56, resting on the image of Jesus as a super shepherd. But Jesus isn’t offering comfort only. Mark’s gospel and its conviction to follow, not worship. Proper 11B | Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 We gathered in an antiphonal circle in the chapel to read the first part […]

out of regard for his oaths and for the guests

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out of regard for his oaths and for the guests

In Mark 6:14-29, the famous death of John the Baptist, we get a scene so absurd we might miss what’s right in front of us. When Herod went to see a therapist to justify killing John Proper 10B  |  Mark 6:14-29 If he had had Charles Dickens to draw on, Herod might’ve described this as […]

They Take Offense

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They Take Offense

When Jesus goes home, he’s surprised by how he’s treated. How they’ve judged him without really knowing him. This is our contrast for what it means to love. They take offense and we move on from there. Proper 9B  |  Mark 6:1-13 When we moved down to Georgia some years ago, we knew fitting in […]

The Back of the Boat

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The Back of the Boat

In the stilling of the storm in Mark 4:35-41, Jesus opens the disciples to the frightening possibility that they were wrong. And it reminds us that Jesus has the same message for us. “Peace. Be still!” The fear Jesus gets his disciples to face is not the storm. It’s change. Proper 7B  |  Mark 4:35-41 […]

We Are More Than Kings

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We Are More Than Kings

In 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13, we find a grieving Saul and a grieving God searching for a new king. Even though God still doesn’t want the people to have a king; even as there is a king still on the throne. Even with our lust for power, we’re still driven to love. Proper 6B  | 1 […]