Despite being the closest of friends, Jesus and Peter didn’t always get along. One day there was a disagreement between the two that resulted in a public rebuking of Peter. The situation started when Peter responded to Jesus’ teaching of how Jesus would be mistreated and killed. Peter rejected Jesus’ stark prediction and pulled him aside to tell him so. Jesus would have none of this, which is why he used an accusation of “Satan” against Peter (Mark 8:33). Ouch! Jesus escalated the situation by calling the crowd and declaring to them that anyone who wanted to follow him had to deny self.  Peter mustRead More →

Welcome to Lent, a period of forty days leading up to Easter. Lent need not have anything to do with dietary restrictions or eating fish on Fridays. No, that model of participation is disappearing and for good reasons. For one, the mechanical rehearsing of church liturgical holidays does little to address core spiritual issues. People are realizing that reflection and spirituality should occur throughout the year and not simply within a timid, calendar-driven boundary. But whatever you think of Lent, issues in today’s message remind us of ongoing challenges and opportunities. A familiar theme returns today in that Mark’s Gospel provides another version of JesusRead More →

Today is Transfiguration Sunday, a time when we consider Jesus’ true nature and learn about how we can also be transformed by God. We’re all invited to embrace the Spirit so that none of us remain stuck spiritually. The text focuses on Mark 9:2-9, with Jesus trekking with three of his followers who are also, presumably, his closest friends (Peter, James and John). The four of these guys were in for a hike up a mountain whose location and name are lost to us today. Jesus had taken trips on, around and on top of all sorts of terrain, and yet he and his companionsRead More →