Pentecost 14 C: Dream Tenders

Luke 13:10-17 Dear Partner in Preaching, Because I am an avid fan of the Olympics, I have been regularly staying up way too late to watch the struggles and victories of the athletes gathered in Rio. And while doing so I have been hearing a lot of “dream” talk. Michael Phelps described his recovery, comeback, and remarkable set of accomplishments in the pool this past week as a dream come true. Simon Biles, perhaps the greatest gymnast of all time, also talked about living out a dream, as did Simone Manuel, the first US African American to win a gold medal in swimming. Katie Ladecky, Kristin Armstrong, Ryan Murphy, Usain Bolt and so many...

Pentecost 24 B: Surprisingly Good News

Mark 12:38-44 Dear Partner in Preaching, Sometimes our interpretation of a biblical passage turns on the questions we ask of it. In this case, I want to begin with one central question, not simply for the text, but also for you: How do you hear Jesus’ description of the poor widow’s offering – is it praise or lament? To put it another way: Is Jesus holding up the widow and her offering as an example of great faith and profound stewardship, or is he expressing his remorse that she has given – perhaps feels compelled – to give away the little she has left? I’ll be honest, for most of my life, I’ve assumed it was the former. But...

John 1:17

The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. At first glance, it may seem that John doesn’t think too much of Moses and the law. After all, it feels like he’s setting up a comparison that Moses will definitely not win. But I don’t think that’s...

Matthew 15:10-20

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees took offence when they...

Matthew 15:1-9

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said,...