The Process of Being Born-ed (John 3)

(a Lection Reflection on John 3)

My wife and I have two grown sons. We have experienced many special, wondrous moments with each of them. I have to say, though, that one of the most amazing moments I have ever experienced was the moment when each of them was born. Words like life-filled, miracle, connection, extra-alive, and heart-burst all come to mind — but none are adequate to fully capture the moment.

And yet … Continue reading

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Dry Bones, Dry Drunks, Dry Churches, and Hope — a Pentecost Reflection

(A Lection Reflection on Ezekiel 37: 1-14)

This week’s Old Testament lection is one of my favorites. The symbolism is powerful, the message of resurrection even more so. But, in the midst of the word of hope, there is also a warning — a warning that can apply to individuals and to churches. Let’s take a look. Continue reading

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Cynics, Scoffers, Despair, and Me (Psalm 1)

I am, by nature, a Pollyanna. I tend to look on the bright side, to see the good in everyone, to be Up most of the time. On the Enneagram, I am a Seven, which means life to me is just one big PB&J, to be enjoyed even as you get grape jelly on your face and on your new shirt.

There are times, though, where it all gets to be too much. Where too many bad things happen to too many good people. Where Teh Stupid and Teh Mean seem to be taking over the world, and not only is Christ’s Great Kingdom not coming on earth, it is not even showing up to play. And that’s when it is easy for me to move from puppy dogs and rainbows right to a full plate of Despair, with a bowl of Cynicism for dessert. Continue reading

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We’re Only Loved If We Obey? (John 15)

(A Lection Reflection on John 15:9-13)

At first glance, this week’s lection looks less like the reassuring Jesus of the Farewell Discourse, and more like the “right strawy epistle” of James. Lots of “ifs” here: IF you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love; IF you do what I command you, you are my friends. Hmm.

I think, though, that we are both less on the hook, and more on the hook, than it appears at first glance.

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I John 3:18 — Act or Career?

(a Lection Reflection on I John 3:18)

If you’ve read some of my Lection Reflections, you know I like word studies. Digging around in the Greek can sometimes give a nuance that we would otherwise miss. This week’s Reflection is going to be short, because the point is short. Let’s see if it’s meaningful as well.

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