Showing posts from June, 2020


This morning’s reading from the gospels is, to put it mildly, thought-provoking. It is one of the most pointed, provocative passages of scripture in the New Testament. I thought about preaching on it this morning, but I’ve been rather heavy in my past few sermons. So, I’ve decided to link here a sermon that focuses on our rather heavy gospel reading this week. As for this morning, Father’s Day, I’d like to focus on something unrelated to the lectionary readings this morning. I want to talk today about the idea of sanctuary. Its a pertinent topic since we are newly back to worshiping here in St. Paul’s beautiful sanctuary. Its even more pertinent thinking about the times we live in. Who doesn’t want to sometimes seek sanctuary from all the stress, strife, and struggle around us? Who doesn’t want a hiding place from all the hopelessness and hatred? I admit to wanting a sanctuary and hiding place sometimes, and I am among the fortunate ones. Magnify this hope a few times for other f

Jesus Brings No Peace & Is Anti-Family?

PART 1   "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) It is interesting how we humans so easily put people we adore on a pedestal. We see them as so good, so kind, so perfect, that it becomes hard for us to see any room to grow, no room to gain new insights, no room to progress in the way of peace. When we do this, though, we in truth rob them of their humanity. We take their humanness from them. We make a caricature of them – the perfect man or woman, one who can do no wrong or say something that indicated room for growth. This is especially true when it comes to religious figures. We declare people saints. Superhuman. We forget to see persons, persons full of complexity with a mix of emotions throughout time. We forget they are more like us than not. In their life they too progressed and matured and got better. This applies even to Jesus. Like God pictured in the Old Testament, Jesus was influenced by

A Pluralist Paradigm of the Cross (book excerpt)

Jesus as Bodhisattva There is the centuries-old legend that between the age of 12 and 30, Jesus traveled to India and learned about Buddhism. These lost years were spent studying and practicing the Buddhist dharma. Jesus internalized the dharma on the basis of his own cultural-religious background. He returned to Palestine and taught a kind of Buddhist-Judaism. There is no historical evidence for this. Yet there are groups of Indians and Tibetans who hold to it. That the story continues to be sincerely believed around the world itself says a lot. Many of us would like to believe it! And it is an interesting idea to consider. One thing is for sure, what Christ taught was often very buddhistic. Jesus’ teaching, whether knowingly or not, tapped into buddhistic notions such as Jesus’ teachings on righteous self-emptying; righteous effort amid suffering; the exaltation of the poor and the vulnerable; and the focus on the imminence of truth and the practice of compassion. Marcus Borg’s won

The Biblical Paradigm

Exodus 19:2-8 (NRSV) They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. There is a sign that I guess some people have pur