Life in the midst of a global pandemic is not at all what we have come to expect it to be. In fact, it feels in some very significant ways that the world itself has been turned upside-down. This is disorienting and disconcerting. It changes our outlook, our actions, and our relationships. And it is a pretty good metaphor for what God is doing through Jesus: working to bring about the kingdom of God—to turn this world upside-down.
Upside Down Hopes
Sunday, August 2, 2020
James and John approach Jesus with an audacious request: to be given a special status when Jesus is glorified. But since they misunderstand the nature of Jesus’ glorification, they are sadly mistaken about what sort of status he is able to offer them. Jesus reorients our hopes and ambitions around a completely different idea of glory.
Upside Down Power
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Jesus was not just contesting the political powers of his day, he was contesting our very notions of power itself. In his teaching and in his life, he reveals the ways that God has set about unmasking our misguided notions of what is strength and what is weakness.
Upside Down Community
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Jesus upends the ways we relate to one another in radical and disconcerting ways. We understand ourselves and others by drawing boundaries—boundaries that we use to define ourselves just as much as we use them to define others. Jesus eliminates the boundaries and instead proposes a boundary-less community that is united by a common purpose: to be salt and light.
Upside Down Wisdom
Sunday, August 23, 2020
The cross makes no sense—it is almost that simple. It’s a source of scandal to good religious folks and utter nonsense to the outside world. But it is the decisive location and the central symbol of God’s action in human history, and it looks for all the world like foolishness.
Upside Down Justice
Sunday, August 30, 2020
The word “justice” echoes around our nation today on the lips of protestors and police officers, activists and agitators, preachers and politicians. But there is precious little agreement on what this loaded word actually means. Meanwhile, the Bible has its own take on justice: a notion of justice which both resembles and radically upends contemporary American understandings of the word.
Upside Down World
Sunday, September 6, 2020
God’s plan for creation from the very beginning is not the evacuation of the faithful from a world destined to decay. God’s plan is a new heaven and a new earth: all things remade and renewed—the world itself turned upside-down.