John 2:12

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there for a few days. This is, by and large, a transitional verse, moving Jesus from the setting of his first “sign” in Cana to the stage for his first major public encounter in...

Fully Human, Fully Divine Jan08

Fully Human, Fully Divine

This past week while traveling, I started reading James Carroll’s Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age. While I spend most of my time on planes writing – emails, mostly, occasionally a post, not nearly enough just writing – I like to have a book with me during takeoff and landing, those times when “laptop computers must be shut.” Carroll, NY Times bestselling author of Constantine’s Sword picks up in this book his exploration of the relationship between Christians and Jews. But this time it’s less historical investigation than it is personal memoir combined with some biblical study...

Christmas 2 B: Christmas Continued

Dear Partner in Preaching, There are so many themes worth exploring in the Prologue to the Gospel of John that it can be difficult to decide just where to land for a sermon. Do we make the connection between the first verse of John and that of Genesis, calling attention to John’s audacious claim to be writing a new Genesis? Do we let our gaze settle instead on the fourteenth verse, John’s Christmas story and the heart of the doctrine of the Incarnation? Either of these elements of John’s magnificent “hymn to the Word” would make for a fine sermon on this second Sunday of Christmas. But I’m going to suggest two other verses, not...

John 1:16

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. Some would argue, and with good reason, that the climax of John’s Prologue is verse fourteen, what we read two verses ago. It is, after all, an incredibly succinct summary of the whole point of Jesus’ mission and ministry and an...

John 1:14a

And the Word became flesh… This phrase, at the heart of not just John’s Prologue but his whole Gospel, is likely quite familiar to us. We’ve heard it before, perhaps many times, probably as one of the readings on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. But while we may be very familiar with it,...