Look at the Child

Luke 2:22-40 I grew up in Michigan’s Bible Belt. Not quite the same as the bible belt that runs through the south, but the streets rolled up on Sundays because all the businesses were closed kind. My own religious history is somewhat unique, and confusing for those who haven’t lived that kind of experience. Anyway,Continue reading “Look at the Child”

Restoration Amidst the Ruins

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 I am fascinated by ruins. I think it started where I grew up. I grew up in a small town that used to be a fairly sizeable community, but as the nearby city continued to grow and expand, and as more people started working there, the community began to decline, as well.Continue reading “Restoration Amidst the Ruins”

The Great Multitude of the Saints

Revelation 7:9-17 All Saints’ Day is a day I feel. It’s a day I feel in my bones, in the deepest recesses of my being. It’s also a day that I have a hard time talking about. And I think it’s because there’s something ineffable about it, something which can best be experienced, best beContinue reading “The Great Multitude of the Saints”

Life from the Lifeless

Exodus 17:1-7 “Is the LORD among us or not?” This, I think, speaks to the heart of the matter, not just for this particular story, but the grand story as well.  This is what was at the root of their worry when they found themselves between an army and a sea, this was at theContinue reading “Life from the Lifeless”

God the Liberator

Exodus 12:1-14 “Why is this night different from all other nights?” In the Jewish ritual of the Passover, this question is asked by the youngest child present. “Why is this night different from all other nights?” It is a scripted question, designed to help teach about the meaning of Passover, not all that different fromContinue reading “God the Liberator”

The Thin Place of Liminality

Genesis 32:22-31 I have heard from people in some form of recovery, usually from alcohol, and often they share a similar kind of experience. The first time that they are on their way to a meeting, or to a substance abuse counselor, is usually the most terrifying moment. It is a time in which oneContinue reading “The Thin Place of Liminality”

Ordinary Scene in an Extraordinary Story

A sermon delivered to the Altamont Reformed Church on 5 July 2020 Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 A story is told about a man who lived in a town by a river. The rains came and it rained and rained, and the river crested and before anyone realized it, the town began to flood, even worse,Continue reading “Ordinary Scene in an Extraordinary Story”

Sarah Laughs and Hagar Weeps

Genesis 21:8-21 Before there was a child, there was a promise. A promise which required a child to be fulfilled, but to two people advanced in years, unable to bear children, this promise nonetheless came. At some point, after he was done travelling, Abraham, then Abram, looked around, and considered the fact that the promiseContinue reading “Sarah Laughs and Hagar Weeps”

Laughable Hope

Genesis 18:1-15; Romans 5:1-8 Finished. This is what Abraham’s line was to be. Ended. Cut off. Sarah couldn’t have children, and their best hope was Ishmael, the child of Abraham and Sarah’s servant. But God says, “No, Sarah will bear a child,” and Abraham says, “Yeah, sure, bless Ishmael.” And so here we have threeContinue reading “Laughable Hope”

The Creative Space of Chaos

Genesis 1:1-2:4a Hendrik did not pay attention in the childbirth class. I know, I know, he wasn’t born yet, but still. We paid attention, we had books, I learned about timing contractions and when to call the doctor, and what to report to the doctor. We had a mental note of things to put inContinue reading “The Creative Space of Chaos”