Believing in Place

As has become my tradition (three times makes it a tradition I guess), I am posting the sermon that I gave yesterday in church.  The only thing that I want to say about it ahead of time is that, though I think its themes are universal, it has been tailored very specifically to my congregation […]

Avengers, Apostles, and Us

This Sunday was the second week in the “Screenings” series that our church has been running, and I got to preach for a second time.  We are spending the month looking for meaning in the media, specifically in movies and television.  The movie I decided to focus on is “The Avengers.” Not the 1998 film […]

Jesus Went Viral

As some of you may know, in addition to my regularly scheduled duties as minister of music at my church, this past Sunday I was also in charge of the message.  Supposedly we are going to start live streaming and/or podcasting these things, but since that has not happened, and many people have asked for […]

Is the Pope Catholic?

There is a somewhat cliched and sarcastic response that is often used to answer a question to which the answer is a very obvious “yes.”  Instead of actually saying yes, one might respond with the follow-up question, “Is the Pope Catholic?”  For instance, “Tenor Dad, do you like drinking Coca-Cola?”  “Is the Pope Catholic?”  See? […]

Welcome Back Kotter, Jesus of Nazareth, and Me

It’s a funny feeling, walking back into a place from your childhood as an adult.  It’s weird enough looking back at the house you grew up in, noticing how small everything looks, and wondering what happened to that store that used to be on the corner, but when you arrive back “home” and are in […]

The Christmas Story is Our Story

Today is Christmas Eve, and millions of us are preparing to celebrate that most wonderful of days, some of us having no idea why or what it is truly all about.  Why is this story so popular, and why has it captivated us for all of these centuries?  The truth is, the Christmas story may […]

Villanelle Parables

As some of my long-time readers will remember, a few years ago I wrote some limerick parables, mostly just to annoy my friend in church choir.  These went over pretty well, so I added some haiku parables as well, and just to beat a dead horse, I went ahead and translated them over into sonnet […]

Defining Good and Evil in a Non-Religious Context

What is good?  What is evil?  Are they fixed things that exist outside of any societal categorization?  Certainly many religions have strong views on the subject, and in my personal Christian religion I suppose that “good” can be boiled down to doing what God wants, and evil would be the opposite.  But if you strip […]

Prayers of Specification

I have a few religious questions to mull over today, so for those of you who are very anti-religion, this might not be of interest to you.  I will say, however, that this topic could be applicable to a variety of religions, so even though I am a Christian myself, everything I say may apply […]

Reverent Irreverance

I don’t know if any of you have noticed in the past, but I am a bit of a fan of humor.  To me, laughter really is the best medicine (tied with penicillin), and I try to keep a sense of humor about almost everything.  I am always ready to throw out a joke, or […]