Writing

Matthew 1:18-25 (4th Sunday of Advent) – December 18th, 2022

I’m not sure that people often think of Matthew as a provocative gospel. I think that designation usually goes to Luke’s gospel as people will cite Jesus’ interactions with women, his stance on money, and the mission to the Gentiles in Acts. However, if you’re willing to sit in the tension, Matthew is a wonderfully provocative gospel.

Matthew 3:1-12 (2nd Sunday of Advent) – December 4th, 2022

As I mentioned last week, Matthew portrays Jesus as prophetic figure more than any other Gospel. True to other prophets in the scriptures, there is a handoff that occurs from one prophet to another: Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha. Matthew’s use of this tactic is for the purpose of recognizing the transition of authority from John to Jesus but also to make it abundantly clear that, for Matthew, Jesus is playing the role of a prophet. And as prophet, Jesus will continue speaking the hard truths that we have just heard from John.

Matthew 24:36-44 (1st Sunday of Advent) – November 27, 2022

Today’s text is a continuation of a long apocalyptic/eschatological section in chapter 24. Throughout the gospel, but especially in this section, Matthew is channeling a prophetic voice that calls people to repentance and promises the “day of judgment.” More than any other Gospel, Matthew portrays Jesus as a prophet like Moses and Isaiah. And like a prophet, Jesus speaks of the day of judgment that is to come, calling for repentance… or else.

A Companion Guide to Dry January

But this year, there are more people trying Dry January than ever before and it’s no wonder why. According to a recent survey, there has been a predictable increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic. More people are drinking greater amounts of alcohol. What this pandemic drinking tells us is that it’s not just social events, peer pressure, or societal expectation that inspires drinking. But drinking, even more than before, can take place in isolation.

Addiction in the Time of COVID-19

Because sitting at home in isolation today, I know that I could fall into the temptation of substance bliss all over again. And unfortunately, if I can feel that temptation, I know that there are hundreds (probably thousands) of people that are experiencing that temptation too. And I know that there are hundreds (probably thousands) of young people that may be learning the power of alcohol or other substances during this time of isolation. Getting lost in whatever brief euphoria they can manufacture in attempts to numb the pain and release anger and frustration.

From Lost to Finding

So, many of us have had experiences of feeling lost. They are challenging and hard but there is such joy once we are found. And from that experience, we can help others who are lost to find their way through and experience in the incredible grace and love of God.

#RecoverLent – Telling the Truth and Making Amends

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins…” Like a tornado, I stormed through life, leaving behind total destruction. Broken relationships, fractured friendships, severed connections…. As overdramatic as that sounds, part of me wonders if it isn’t dramatic enough. When... Continue Reading →

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