Bishop Kevin Strickland says Epiphany is about the revelation of Jesus, about finding Jesus, witnessing Jesus in various epiphanic moments—it’s not supposed to be about being found ourselves. Or is it?
As he explores the Baptism of the Lord, the Rev. Olu Brown says baptism looks back with gratitude on what God’s grace has already accomplished, is here and now an act of God’s grace, and looks forward to what God’s grace will accomplish in the future.
Barbara Brown Taylor explores the meaning of the Logos of John 1 and Lady Wisdom of Sirach 24, who reveal God's eternal invitation to direct access to the fierce love and creative intelligence that is always looking for a new place to call home.
The Rev. Jenny McDevitt explores that other Christmas story, one that also begins in the dark--but the darkness only grows deeper as Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt with their baby--a scenario that might sound familiar today.
Matthew tells a Christmas story from the point of view of Joseph, and unlike Luke with the singing angels and worshiping shepherds, we hear a story not of wonder but of heartache. The Rev. Eric Shafer tells us the months leading up to Jesus’s birth were fraught with anxiety, concern, and emotion for Joseph and Mary. And that is a purpose of Matthew’s telling this story—because we have all been there.
Bishop Brian Cole reminds us that Mary, Jesus’s mother, and John the Baptist were real people. John has been preparing the way, making room for the Messiah, and it seems in Matthew 11 that he’s become concerned his work may be in vain—he is experiencing doubt because Jesus is not meeting his expectations for the Messiah. His doubt can be instructive for us...
Bishop Nicholas Knisely says the tension between the Isaiah and Matthew texts for Advent 2 is palpable—Isaiah speaks of new life, healing, and restoration. But in Matthew, John the Baptist boldly calls the people to repent—which really doesn’t fit our cultural experience of this season.
Dr. Charles Qualls says the vision Isaiah paints in chapter 2 is one of peace—a world we would surely like to live in. But in this era of mass shootings and the threat of war, these words don’t match our reality, and so we yearn to know: when will the Christ child hurry up and usher in such a peaceful time? And we wait...
Victoria Lawson reveals three "grace moments" in Luke 23: The grace of the request for forgiveness, the grace of simply talking with the Savior, and the grace of Jesus's response, which reverberates to us today.
Dr. Dock Hollingsworth says Jesus's disciples had seen so many wonderful miracles and events—there had never been anybody like this man! Yet Jesus knows that following the way of the Kingdom is not all about the good times. Sometimes there is hardship, sometimes bad things happen—and not in spite of being a Jesus follower but because you are.
In her sermon, the Rev. Lori Raible says by grace alone, and through the power of the resurrection, Christ redeems and calls us to participate in the reconciling work of God’s Kingdom, now. Ours is a God of action, one who says, “I am with you, now let’s go!”
On All Saints' Sunday, the Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick says we acknowledge that what happens in the waters of baptism is that we are made part of a great extended family that includes seekers and servants, poets and prophets, contemplatives and charismatics.
The Rev. Ed Bacon says the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector offers deep teaching about life with God and with the human family and all of creation, namely, that the humility of interbeing aligns us with God's love.
In this parable, Jesus lauds the woman for her persistence in asking for what she needs. The Rev. Jenny McDevitt shows us that when we pray persistently, our connection with God deepens, no matter how God answers our prayer.
In his sermon on Jeremiah 29:1,4-7, the Rev. Matthew Ruffner says that just as Jeremiah told the people of Israel they weren’t taking care of others at their own expense, but rather as a community, we too need to open ourselves up to the wellbeing of all God’s people by seeking the welfare of our cities.
The Rev. Chris Henry says that in Luke 17 Jesus tells an odd parable to his disciples who have just begged him to increase their faith in light of all he has been teaching about living as a follower of his. What Jesus calls them, and us as Christians, to do can seem overwhelming, but Jesus encourages us that we already have enough faith to live out the challenging commands he's given us.
The Rev. Scott Jones explores the story of the Rich man, who’s unnamed, and Lazarus, the poor man whose name means “God is my help.” And he discovers that ultimately, we will either receive the name Lazarus by trusting the God who raises the dead to be our help, or we will attempt to make a name for ourselves, and remain nameless and immune to being raised up to new life.
Dr. Chris Girata helps us unpack a weird parable of Jesus in Luke 16. Jesus’s moral of the story is rather confusing--we’re supposed to be shrewd like this dishonest manager? Yes--God’s children need to act shrewdly and be faithful with wealth
The Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring says perhaps God changes God’s mind in today’s scripture because God is more spacious than we may have thought God to be. God continues to lead the Israelites through the wilderness knowing that it takes time for a new theological imagination to form.
Paul’s letter to Philemon is instructive, says the Rev. David Meredith, because it reveals that equality in Christ is about the mutual participation of the particular person, gifts, graces, call, mission, and ministry of each person and Christ. As Galatians 3:28 puts it, “in Christ there is no division...among us all are equal.” That reality demands much of everyone in the church.