Pentecost 10 C: Shameless Prayer

Luke 11:1-13 Dear Partner in Preaching, I think I would find this passage easier to preach on if there weren’t so many people dying right now. I know, I know, people die every day. More than that, people die in really difficult, preventable, tragic ways every day that I know nothing about. But in recent weeks, the violence in our cities and around the world has been nearly overwhelming. Orlando, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge again… there are too many people dying for me to read this passage and wonder, not how to pray, but why we pray at all. And here’s the thing: the overwhelming majority of the people we preach to...

Prayers for Emerging Leaders Sep01

Prayers for Emerging Leaders

This past summer I ended up taking an unanticipated partial sabbatical from blogging. While I had taken part or all of the summer off in previous years, this summer I had hoped actually to catch up on writing in this space and a few others after a full, hectic, and blessed first year at LTSP. Alas, that wasn’t to happen. The summer was busier, and I was more tired, than I’d anticipated and apart from the weekly “Dear Partner” posts for preachers, I ended up writing exactly nothing. Once I realized that was the way things were going to roll, I intended to start up again after Labor Day. But then classes...

Matthew 21:18-22

In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it,...

Matthew 20:29-34

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly,...

Buechner on “Meager Prayer” Jul18

Buechner on “Meager Prayer”

Do you ever worry about your prayer life? Actually, let me phrase that another way. When on those occasional moments that you think about your prayer life, do you feel like it’s inadequate? If so, then you’re in the same boat that I am. And, as it turns out, with Frederick Buechner as well. I take some comfort in that, as Buechner is one of my favorite authors and theologians. (His book Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale is one of my favorite reads of all time, any genre, and absolutely my favorite book on preaching.) And so to hear him describe his prayers as scattered and as mumbles and to confess his own...