Articles by The Rev. Ron Buford
Sunday November 19, 2017
A friend complained about his mom, a wealthy woman who by inheritance wanted for nothing . . . but was miserable. 'It's a living hell' was her constant refrain while shaking her downcast head when even life's smallest routine things went wrong. This so bothered my friend that their time together was difficult.
Thursday July 06, 2017
Ever notice the way cats can seem to treat their owners as if their owners exist to solely fulfill their cat desires?
Saturday April 29, 2017
Someone accused me of preaching 'cheap grace.' He suggested that I somehow made God's grace seem so accessible, so without requirement, that I cheapened God's grace. I thought for a moment and said, 'Thank you. God's grace is so cheap, it's free!'
Thursday March 30, 2017
When a worship service has no prayer of confession, I wonder, 'Am I the lone sinner in the house looking for more power than I brought in here?'
Monday December 19, 2016
And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.' - Luke 1:46b-55
Friday May 13, 2016
She then said to Elijah, 'What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!' - 1 Kings 17:1-24
Thursday March 31, 2016
Several black FBI cars and trucks pulled up the street of my gentrifying neighborhood with its mix of half-million dollar and old homes of little value. An army of men with bulletproof vests emerged, walking briskly toward Fred and Jane's (not their real names).
Tuesday February 16, 2016
I once belonged to a congregation in which a gifted pastor led a handful of people in a dying urban church to become more than 500 members. After her departure, interim adjustments, and the typical lull came another gifted young pastor, and now the congregation is growing again.
Sunday January 31, 2016
Jesus tells John's disciples, a group of good and faithful people, to pause, recognize, and celebrate the good times right here, right now, amid challenge or spiritual devotion. Seeing God's gifts of life is a spiritual discipline.
Tuesday September 08, 2015
When we remember people who have died, simple things remind us of them -- a smell, a song, a flower, the gathering of family and friends. And we remember them. . . .
Saturday August 15, 2015
A dear pastor friend asked me for a children's sermon idea on Saul becoming blinded while on his way to persecute Christians, regaining his vision, and then becoming the great apostle Paul.
Friday August 07, 2015
Among close African-American colleagues who know the risks of racism and cultural misunderstanding that can so easily and unconsciously emerge, one might say to another, 'I've got your back.'
Sunday June 21, 2015
I remember being at an amusement park on Lake Erie’s shore as a sudden storm blew in and a huge funnel appeared over the water. The water came down in sheets. Masses of people huddled into a huge shelter where indoor rides, now silent, and food vendors, now closed, remained quiet as everyone sat and prayed --some doing what I now know to be the rosary.
Saturday June 13, 2015
The whole town stopped in its tracks when Samuel showed up. 'Is there bad news . . . from God?'
Saturday January 17, 2015
My mom had Alzheimer's disease and spent her final days in a facility that cared for people so afflicted. It had been months since momma recognized me, but one morning, I went out to visit her really early in the morning before going to work. She looked at me and knew me.
Tuesday November 04, 2014
Our view of God is often determined by our earliest parent memory””until we reshape it as adults. For many with harsh, stern, hurtful memories, a God breakthrough is essential.
Thursday July 24, 2014
This biblical text is on my top ten list of Bible verses to remember. Here fear does not mean 'to be afraid.' but something more akin to 'be in awe.'
Sunday May 04, 2014
Recent archeological evidence suggests that Jesus was poor . . . dirt poor. Nazareth, 70 miles outside of Jerusalem, may have had as few as 400 mostly illiterate residents and certainly not more than 2000. There were no public buildings, no paved streets and no art or luxury good.
Sunday February 09, 2014
The symbolism of Moses, the lawgiver and symbol of the law, and Elijah, the prophet and symbol of the ancient prophets, in dialog with Jesus says something important for us today. It reminds us that the law is not irrelevant, and neither are the writings of the prophets.
Tuesday January 14, 2014
The will of God is often revealed in the waiting, watching, and listening . . . unstopping the ears of our hearts to hear the faint sounds of earth breaking open, freeing the first shoots of God's future, unfolding before us . . . and there are no shortcuts.
Friday November 08, 2013
Some religious people think they have all the answers about Jesus, his resurrection, second coming and so much more. And while these topics may be interesting, they are not central to our faith in the God as made know to us by Jesus, whose central message was the shockingly good news of God's unfailing love and compassion.
Thursday September 19, 2013
A rabbi told me that a town with two Jews would need three synagogues: The one I go to; The one you go to; and one neither one of us would be caught dead in. Christians are much the same. But Jesus' prophetic words assure us that someday, God's people will ALL be one – within and across faith groups.
Friday August 09, 2013
I remember being at an amusement park on Lake Erie's shore as a sudden storm blew in and a huge funnel appeared over the water....
Monday March 18, 2013
When a worship service has no prayer of confession, I wonder, Am I the lone sinner in the house looking for more power than I brought in here?
Tuesday February 05, 2013
I love seeing the EXPECT A MIRACLE bumper sticker. It seems that I only see it when I really need one. It reminds me that my miracle is tethered to my faith expectation. No expectation. No vision of outcome. No miracle.