On Keeping Hope

1st TESTAMENT READING: Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25  (NIV) PSALM OF THE DAY: Psalms 78:1-7  (NIV)   REFLECTION PART ONE What do these first testament perspectives teach us about some of the things the people of God have put their hope in?  I think they show that there’s hope to be had based on knowing a … Continued

The Chaotic Feast

Last Sunday the story of the parable was full of violence carried out under extreme provocation: people beating and killing and stoning servants, then killing the land owner’s son. When we went home, we saw images of death and violence in Israel and Gaza. This morning the gospel reading does not get better. There is … Continued

Workers in the Vineyard

There are so many complexities embedded in the story, I don’t even know where to begin: politically, economically, theologically, and racially. “Who decides who deserves what?” What happens when some of us can’t get hired and are left on the street, hungry, tired, exploited and un-seen? Why do we buy into social constructs, like racism, … Continued

Leaving the Garden

Creation doesn’t stand still. How would you write a biblical creation story now, in the time we live in and with today’s understanding of what we live on? There are really only two options. Either we try to fit what we know now about our universe into the stories we have heard from our childhood, … Continued

A New Hope

Today this parish – this community – is being asked to write down what our life together is like. Who are we? What makes us a faith community – a Christian community? What does it mean to follow the way of Christ – to be disciples of Christ? Now, in our particular time and place, … Continued

Changing Times

You’ll be wondering – perhaps – why the first reading wasn’t, as it usually is, from the Hebrew Scriptures. Except that it was, in a way. It’s a midrash, a story about a story in the scripture, told by Marc Gellman, a Jewish scholar and rabbi, as a means to begin a discussion around how … Continued

On Struggling

The Genesis story read to us by Roz is an old story.  It may have roughly reached its current form around seven or eight centuries before Jesus was born, so it was already ancient when he would have heard it in the synagogue at Nazareth. The story may be part of a propaganda effort, retrospective … Continued

Parable of the Weeds

What is a parable? How is a parable a part of the Good News of the Gospels? Jesus wanted his stories to say very important things to people—and he wanted them to remember these stories and keep thinking about them for a long time. Even more than that, he wanted them to enter into these … Continued

Radical Hospitality

The reading for this week is from Matthew 10: 40-42. Here we find an instruction from Jesus to welcome the stranger with radical hospitality. I remember when I was a child, every Sunday after the morning service, our family was either going to someone else’s home for lunch, or hosting a family our ours. Hospitality … Continued

Disciples or Apostles?

Our first reading, from Matthew 10, is part of a collection of sayings, collated as Jesus’ instructions and encouragements to sending out his twelve disciples to spread his message in Judea. I have always found it difficult to remember the difference between disciples and apostles. It’s an example of how words translated from one language … Continued

Laughing with God

Genesis 18: The Lord said to Abraham ‘Why did Sarah laugh when I promised she would bear a child? Is anything too wonderful for me to achieve – in due season, Sarah will have a son. But Sarah denied it saying ‘I did not laugh’ for she was afraid. The Lord said ‘ Yes, you … Continued

Trinity Sunday

Last Sunday we were faced with Pentecost Sunday. Today we are faced with Trinity Sunday. Some ministers try to avoid Trinity Sunday altogether, while the desperate among us have simply tried to survive the Trinity Sunday hoping against hope that no one will notice that I haven’t a clue what I am talking about. Martin … Continued

Feminine God

Today is Mother’s Day, but I prefer to call this Sunday Mothering Sunday than Mother’s Day. Until we as a church can fully recover images and names for God that include the feminine, it will continue to be difficult for many to see the face of God in women and girls. We need to explore … Continued

Where is Emmaus?

Has anybody here ever been to Emmaus? Which one? According to the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology there are at least nine possible locations that are candidates for the Biblical town of Emmaus. Historians tell us that there is no record of any village called Emmaus in any other ancient source. We simply don’t know … Continued

A Fresh Look at Palm Sunday

Today in the church calendar is Palm Sunday, when we remember the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, to a joyous acclamation of the crowd. Whether we grew up hearing the story in Sunday School, or have only heard it more recently, it is a dramatic scene which captures the imagination, and we probably hold … Continued

The Prodigal Son: Tragedy or Redemption?

Luke 15 contains 3 parables. One is about a lost coin where Jesus compares God to a woman who loses a coin and gets down on her hands and knees, searching all night until she finds it. Another is about a shepherd who leaves the flock to find the one that got away. The chapter … Continued


Whenever my grand-niece come to stay with us we spend lots of time singing songs like:  The wheels on the bus, Five little monkeys and Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Whenever we sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, it evokes an intense memory of staring, gazing into the night sky during my travels. I have been mesmerized … Continued

The Politics of Peace

Jesus’ Non-Violent Resistance To love the way Jesus did is strangely difficult for human beings. One of my personal mantras is, “Do not let other people’s behaviour determine your own.” It’s a good rule to live by, and it is often challenging. We are reactive beings. Our emotions take over and we respond to our … Continued

Salt and Light

Today’s lesson comes right after what are called the Beatitudes—or the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew tells us that before that, “large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him…” and “when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came … Continued

Enacting our Rituals

I am not a fan of John the Baptist. Everything that we read about John the Baptist makes me think of him as Jesus’s annoying cousin. The kind of annoying person I want to avoid, the one we have at the dinner table, trying to steer the conversation clear away from anything remotely political; fearing … Continued

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