Paul chats with us through one of today’s lectionary readings, that of 1 Corinthians 1:18-37. The focus is Paul’s view of wisdom. Brace yourself, ‘cause at some point I will disagree with our hallowed biblical author. We can trust Paul, but even he is not above criticism. The gist of Paul’s idea is that we should feel good about our humble state. Okay, there’s no necessary problem here. “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” (1 Corinthians 1:26). Paul is citing the social insignificance and worldly ignorance ofRead More →

Brrr! It’s cold over here. We’re nearing record lows and the frigid, silent air is freezing ice crystals on my kitchen window. My son Sean is home today due to the cold-related school closure. This means that we are both working from home today and glad that we can still be productive . Faith Fitness has no physical meeting today due to the weather but I’m still covering a topic that we will discuss next Tuesday. One of the oft’ reported statement about Faith Fitness is that we share and care. This means that we not only discuss religious topics but we support one anotherRead More →

Paul chats with us through one of today’s lectionary readings, that of 1 Corinthians 1:18-37. The focus is Paul’s view of wisdom. Brace yourself, ‘cause at some point I will disagree with our hallowed biblical author. We can trust Paul, but even he is not above criticism. The gist of Paul’s idea is that we should feel good about our humble state. Okay, there’s no necessary problem here. “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” (1 Corinthians 1:26). Paul is citing the social insignificance and worldlyRead More →

Today we had another splendid meeting. As usual, our participants shared their life experiences since our last meeting, all with a thematic tie-in to our recent topic of mindfulness, which we began exploring and defining last week (see the post for 14 January). Given the quality and quantity of discussion in our group it is clear to me that mindfulness is a pressing issue. Indeed, what would our churches be and do if the people who comprise them proactively embraced mindfulness? We won’t rehearse the entire scope of defining mindfulness here, but suffice to say that it involves a holistic, synergistic consciousness. it is aRead More →

Today’s message arises from Matthew chapter four, where we find Jesus in the early stages of his public ministry. John the Baptist had been arrested and quickly fades from the gospel story. Meanwhile, Jesus begins to wander and proclaim a powerful message as he builds God’s kingdom. The distinctiveness of Jesus’ message centers around the concept of the kingdom of heaven, a realm of both present reality and future possibility. Jesus’ use of the kingdom of heaven terminology becomes a centerpiece of his distinctive message. The kingdom of heaven is entered through repentance, that act of turning from sin and turning to God. The repentanceRead More →

The Faith Finess study group that met on 14 January focused on the topic of mindfulness, a hot issue among both mental health professionals and those non-specialists among us. The narrative below captures the essence of our latest discussion as shared with that day’s class participants. More than simply a summary, the essay extends our talking points. What is mindfulness? There are different ways to define this term, and most that are helpful involve a definition that highlights a particular state of awareness. In this way, mindfulness involves being awakened emotionally, intellectually, socially–and i’d add spiritually–to an individual’s place in the universe. Our place, yourRead More →

  Confection Confession Okay, I have a confession to make. But first, I have a pre-confession: I will be somewhat silly today so read at your own risk. You may encounter a rambling narrative not at all what you’d think from your Harvardian minister. “What!” you may exclaim. “Is Reverend Hoxey on some sort of blood thinner? I think all the snow and cold last month have gone to his head.” Perhaps, but stay-tuned and I promise to try and make sense of all this. If we can’t have fun then we can’t have much of anything. So, now that you have the confession beforeRead More →

How do you feel about hearing the obvious? Sometimes, we can hear a spiritual truth so often that we can become immune to its power. It is easy to repeat basic religious beliefs in a way that leads to taking them for granted, or worse yet, becoming hardened and unresponsive. One of the challenges in this situation is to try to make our faith alive in the ears of the listeners. In1 Corinthians, Paul faced the same problems outlined above. He tried to teach people basic Christian truths in a way that helped them awaken. Paul tried to convince his readers that they had receivedRead More →

We focus on the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry as written in Matthew 3:13-17. The initiating event began with Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, who was at first reluctant to perform the task. After all, John had said that Jesus was greater than he was. Nevertheless, Jesus wanted to be baptized by John and so it happened. Jesus came up from the baptismal water of the Jordan River and saw that the heavens were opened. The significant bit was that Jesus also saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending upon him. Then the voice of God the Father spoke, boldlyRead More →