On preferring our past to God’s future

by

Fourth Sunday in Lent 11 March 2018 Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21   I learned to ski in high school. In grade 12 and 13 some of us from the school went on a 10 day trip to a small resort in southern Tyrolia, on the border to Italy. On the […]

Plans, Promise, and Presence

by

Third Sunday in Lent 4 March 2018 Exodus 20:1-17 Psalm 19 I Corinthians 1:18-25 John 2:13-22   I grew up in a church that taught that God had a plan for my life. A plan sounds specific and detailed, like a life all mapped out. There was a decidedly evangelical flavour to this assertion and […]

World day of Prayer 2018 – Suriname

by

Genesis 1:1 – 2:4   In an increasingly cosmopolitan culture it is harder to understand one’s own roots. The modern experience is that we come from many different backgrounds and cultures and we come together in search of what we have in common. When I first came to Canada as a foreign student I anglicized […]

Our Spiritual Needs and Jesus

by

Second Sunday in Lent 25 February 2018 Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Psalm 22:23-31 Romans 4:13-25 Mark 8:31-38   There is an ad that has been popping up on my facebook feed for a church in downtown Vancouver. They’re a sizable church on Georgia Street and I am happy that they are able to do ministry downtown. […]

The Heavens Torn Apart

by

First Sunday in Lent Genesis 9:8-17 Psalm 25:1-10 1 Peter 3:18-22 Mark 1:9-15   It won’t come as a surprise to you that I am a cultural pessimist. By being a cultural pessimist I mean that we live in a time of post-capitalism, post-modernism, post-Christendom. We live in a time in which democracy is put […]

We are beggars, that is true (Luther)

by

Ash Wednesday 14 February 2018 Isaiah 58:1-12 Psalm 51:1-17 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21   There is a common theme in both the reading from Isaiah and the reading from Matthew: Don’t be hypocrites, don’t praise God with your lips and take advantage of the poor, don’t fast to increase your status, don’t give […]

What it means to follow Jesus

by

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany / Proper 5, Year B 4 February 2018 Isaiah 40:21-31 Psalm 147:1-11, 20c 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 Mark 1:29-39 We always read the scriptures from our own perspective and, of course, we believe that God speaks to us through the scriptures and that God speaks into our own time and lives. […]

Loneliness, Community, and the Kingdom of God

by

28 January 2018 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Proper 4, Year B Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Mark 1:21-28   Jesus enters a synagogue, as is customary for him. He encounters a man who has an unclean spirit. We moderns are not entirely sure today about what that means but what is clear is […]

Call, Community, and Transformation

by

Third Sunday after Epiphany / Proper 3 21 January 2018 Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20   Years ago I attended a funeral for the grandmother of our son’s girlfriend at the time. The grandma and her husband had been on a journey through a variety of conservative Christian denominations and […]

Nathanael and the Faith of Jesus

by

14 January 2018 Second Sunday After Epiphany / Proper 2 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20] Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51   Before attending university, I spent a year with a Lutheran monastic community in Northern Germany. One of the brothers there once told of his conversion story. The part I remember is this […]