Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday

Today, the church celebrates Holy Saturday, the day that the disciples of Jesus lived with grief, anger and confusion. The day that God allowed them to live with their questions, and didn't answer them. The day their faith was transforming.

What questions do you have for God? 

Please, only ask, don't answer, don't judge others for their questions. 

Only if we ask our questions will our faith be transformed into truth.

Here are some of my questions:

If you are concerned about the oppressed, why don't you just deliver them all now?

Why do you allow the church, who speaks the gospel in your name, continue to oppress the poor without correcting them?
If you are a God of love, why is there so much hatred done by your hand in the Scriptures?

If you are a God of love, why do we have two ethic systems in our brains-- one of compassion and the other of judgment?

Can't I just get some rest for a change?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday

In the church, today is Maundy Thursday. A celebration of the last supper of Jesus, and a day in which people will ritually wash each other's feet.
The thing about foot washing, is that it isn't about clean feet. Or general servanthood.
Any homeless person will tell you how essential foot care is, especially when you do miles of walking a day. Foot washing is basic hygiene, like brushing your teeth, in a walking culture. Having someone care for your feet is an essential luxury.
In the ancient world, foot washing was the first step in a whole process that the ancient world called "welcoming" or "receiving" and we might call "hospitality." It is taking a person who walked all day, has no indoor place to sleep, no full meal and inviting them into your home. You would take this vulnerable stranger, wash their feed, feed them well, listen to their stories and let them sleep a night in your home. So when Jesus said, "Do to each other as I have done to you" he's not talking about washing feet. He's talking about the full process of welcoming. He washed their feet, he fed them, he granted them sleep and he taught them truth.
Jesus specifically tied this hospitality to our faithfulness to Him. "Whoever receives one whom I sent receives me," and "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me... I tell you, whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these vulnerable ones as a disciple, they will not lose their reward."
Instead of embarrassingly washing each other's feet in church on Maundy Thursday, we should obey the intent of what Jesus intended. Find a vulnerable person, invite them into your home. Allow them to shower, to have a good meal, to sleep, and then offer them peace as they go on their way.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Creation Blessings in Church

Woe is me for my children are more concerned about timelines
Than the system with which I established my creation.

I made the rain to fall for free
Upon the mountain to capture it
For the tree upon the crag
For the rock to cup it
For the goat to drink it
For the human to milk it
For the cat to drink it.
For the bladder to piss it
For the heat to evaporate it
For the sky to gather it.

I gave creation for all to give for all to receive.

But the church is a churning machine.
Take the tithes
Take the volunteers
Take the hopes
Take the land
Take the tax exemptions
And churn, and churn and churn
And regurgitate into something lacking divinity.

Into salaries
Into empty buildings
Into bureaucracies,
Into doctrines
Into death
Where grace is a paltry thing:
A spirit without substance;
A hope never realized.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A New Law

God gave us his Son, without cost.
God gives us healing, survival.
God gives us parents and relationships.
God gives us wind and rain.
God gives us thoughts and intelligence.
God gives us forgiveness.
God gives us truth and hope.

All he asks in return is this:
All that we received, we must give
To those who need at least as much as we
At least as freely as we received it.

"Freely you have received, freely give."

Sunday, March 13, 2016

New Creation

Jesus’ country is like none ever seen.

The only law is love.

For every sin is the opportunity for forgiveness.

Jesus gives 77 x 77 chances for repentance.

Discipline is to transform, never punish.

Every empty church is open for the homeless.

Every unpurchased morsel free for the hungry.

Every Goodwill is an open field to the needy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Jesus didn’t die for America.
Jesus didn’t die for England.
Jesus didn’t die for Rome
Jesus didn’t die for empires.

Jesus died to free the black man in prison.
Jesus died for the refugee.
Jesus died for the cop who no longer wants to oppress.
Jesus died for the soldier who doesn’t want to kill.

Jesus died for those trapped in a system of oppression
Jesus died to deliver us from empires.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Became Sin

Jesus didn’t become adultery for us
Jesus didn’t become an axe murderer
Nor a pedophile, nor even a thief.

Jesus became the object of scorn,
The innocent oppressed.
He became the sin of the black man killed by the police.
He became the sin of the single mother on welfare.
He became the sin of the child beaten to half-death.
He became the sin of the homeless
  The sin of the Muslim
  The sin of the poor.

Which is no sin at all
Except in the mind of the oppressor.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


The idea that we are born in sin
And so must be punished
Is the theology of the abused child
Convinced that they deserve their regular beatings.

Jesus never claims a human is born in sin.
Rather, he strives to convince us
And all those around us
That we are going to be the focus
Of God’s unbelievable miracle.