Ordinary Time

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tearing down temples

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tearing down temples

In Mark’s Little Apocalypse, Jesus invites us to see what we’d rather avoid: not only the finitude of existence but the challenge of a life of trusting God. How our temples deny our trust Proper 28B  |  Mark 13:1-8 I don’t envy the disciples. Here they are, marveling the enormity of the Temple, looking at the […]

Devouring Their Houses

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Devouring Their Houses

Jesus doesn’t simply criticize the priests for their hubris, he exposes the whole system for its corruption, exploitation, and rejection of the poor. of poverty and hubris in the Temple Proper 27B  |  Mark 12:38-44 Less than a week after starting at my first congregation out of seminary, I went to my first clericus—a meeting of […]

Love Rising

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Love Rising

In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus is interrupted on his journey to Jerusalem. But this final moment embodies the discipleship journey itself. In Bartimaeus, we have the true disciple and a vision of hope Proper 25B | Mark 10:46-52 If we just cracked open our Bibles to this passage in Mark, I think we’d be excused if […]

Jesus Keeps Walking

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Jesus Keeps Walking

After Jesus makes his third passion prediction, his followers still don’t understand what it means to follow Jesus. And most of us don’t either. For Jesus, it isn’t just confronting power — it’s rejecting glory. Proper 24B | Mark 10:35-45 A few weeks ago, when we hosted our neighbors for our annual big blow-out communion […]

Becoming Beloved

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Becoming Beloved

Jesus wants us to talk about money. I know you don’t want me to talk about money. And you know I don’t want to talk about money. But here we are. Just like I didn’t want to talk about divorce last week, but there it was. Jesus wants us dealing with important stuff. Jesus is saying […]

It’s not really about divorce

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not really about divorce

When Jesus is asked about divorce in Mark 10:2-16, we act like he’s given us an answer. What he’s given us is a whole new question. Again Jesus pushes us to see the forest, not the trees. Proper 22B  |  Mark 10:2-16 Let me say at the top that Jesus doesn’t condemn divorce. Let’s first […]

Out of Line

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Out of Line

In Mark 9, we get a vision of the flipped script, the powerless raised up and the powerful brought low. And still, we struggle to see ourselves in it. Jesus warns that being a stumbling block deprives us all Proper 21B  | Mark 9:38-50 Is the second time ever the charm? At this point in Mark, […]

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 […]