The parable of the workers in the vineyard calls us to re-evaluate our own economy, to value people over productivity. Let’s talk economics, old school. The Greek word oikos, which means “house” or “home” is the root word for our English word “economy.” We get it by way of the Greek oikonomia, which means “household.” … Continue reading Economics and Freedom (Matthew 20:1-16)
Seventy seven times. That is how many times we are told to forgive someone who sins against us. And you get the distinct feeling that Jesus does not expect you to actually keep count. Seventy-seven just expands Peter’s suggestion of seven to a much greater extent. In practicality, Jesus instructs Peter to forgive whenever he … Continue reading Counting To Seventy-Seven
The church does not always do a good job talking about sin. I am, of course, part of the church. Sin is a complex thing, and if we are going to do a good job discussing it, it’s going to take a while. It is as complex as human relationships themselves, and rarely can it … Continue reading Hearing Into Truth
The separation of church and state is tricky business. There are people within Christianity who will argue that the sacred is the business of the church and the secular is the business of everything else. The separation was meant to protect the freedom and diversity of religion from state persecution, but some would apply it … Continue reading Divine Things During Crisis
I think you need to know where this Gospel takes place if you want to interpret it.. It used to be called Baal Gad, a place of worship to the Canaanite god of good fortune. Then Alexander the Great conquered the area and the site became known as Paneas, and a temple was built to … Continue reading Jesus Amidst the Monuments
There are some pretty serious currents of religiosity colliding in today’s passage. On one hand you have the Pharisees, and by now you likely know that the Pharisees are always set up to be wrong in the Gospels. Here, they are concerned with the minutae of keeping the Jewish law. In particular, they are disturbed … Continue reading A Revealing Stumble
Jesus is not in the mood to face the crowds. It takes a lot of energy to be Jesus, to give of yourself and your energy and to face the demands of a crowd whose need for healing knows no end. Jesus has just gotten word that John the Baptist, who baptised him and … Continue reading Enough is a Miracle
You can’t just speak directly about God as though you know exactly what God is. Whenever we use a word, we are appealing to a reasonably agreed-upon connection between that word and something in the world. An apple, we can all agree, is a fruit that grows on a tree. Maybe you pictured a red … Continue reading The Kingdom of Metaphors
Out of that whole first reading, I’m picking just a couple of verses: “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals … Continue reading Let us…
Like a wind it sounded. Like a rush of violent wind. In the middle of the city, the sound came down and filled the houses. Impossible to ignore. Likely unwelcome, the sound came anyway. Divided tongues of fire appeared among the disciples, who had seen a lot but were surely terrified.
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