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’ talk about suffering and death. Peter rejected Jesus’ stark topic and pulled him aside to tell him so. Jesus would have none of this and responded with a surprising name-calling of “Satan” against Peter (Mark 8:33). Jesus escalated the situation by calling the crowd and declaring to them that anyone who wanted to follow him must deny self.  Peter must have been grimacing on the sidelines asRead 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. The mechanical rehearsing of church liturgical holidays does little to promote personal vitality. Spiritual seekers increasingly realize that reflection and spirituality should occur throughout the year and not simply within a calendar-driven ritual. But whatever you think of Lent, issues in today’s message highlight ongoing challenges and opportunities. A familiar lectionary theme returns today in Mark 1:9-15, which is a version of Jesus’ baptism. This is aRead More →

Welcome to Lent, a period of forty days historically celebrated as a time of preparation culminating in Easter. Lent is sent, but how is it spent? Lent repeats every year, and some folks say that they look forward to the pleasant rehearsal of this tradition. Other folks report that holy days come and go but nothing seems to change and that Lent becomes just another routine leading nowhere. Which outcome do you expect? As always, the attitude empowering your perception determines an outcome. Lent isn’t magic. Whether your view of Lent is more positive or negative, whether you’re skeptical or believing, Lent is an invitation.Read More →

Welcome to Transfiguration Sunday, a time to consider Jesus’ true nature and God’s “fantabulous” transforming power. We’re invited to embrace God’s marvelous Spirit so that none of us remain stuck in life’s pit. The biblical tale begins as Jesus was trekking up a mountain with three of his closest friends (Peter, James and John). Once on that mountaintop, Jesus did something extraordinary. The evocative word “transfiguration” describes what happened when Jesus started shining with a blinding light. The biblical writer who narrated this event was accomplishing more than simply advertising or sensationalizing Jesus’ divinity. With the radiance, Jesus shone with his true spiritual energy. GodRead More →

Mark 1:29-39 reveals that no sooner had Jesus finished teaching in a synagogue then he began practicing what he had been preaching. Jesus accompanied the twin disciple brothers (Simon & Andrew, James & John) to Simon’s house, where they found Simon’s mother-in-law feverish. Jesus healed her, and then Jesus continued his role as faith doctor as he spent the rest of the day healing the sick and demon possessed. After hectic visits with all the ill people, Jesus got up before sunrise the next day and went to a deserted place to meditate. An interesting question arises: Does God get tired? Perhaps one of theRead More →