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Spirit of God

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon Christians gathered in Jerusalem and the Church was born. From that point forward, we have understood God's Spirit to be—in some mysterious, unquantifiable way—the animating force that guides, strengthens, and equips God's people to carry on...

Nothing Less

When it comes to hope, so often we either have too little or we place it in the wrong things. Some of us have trained ourselves not to hope, having been disappointed too many times along the way, and some of us have known feelings of despair for too long even to consider the possibility of real...


The Christian church in the United States is living in a kind of exile: after centuries of enjoying social, cultural, and political power and influence, the church increasingly finds itself alienated from the centers of power that it once took for granted. Some see this as a crisis and seek a...


There are stories about Jesus that we love to hear and to tell—stories of surprising compassion and radical love—and then there are those stories that don’t jibe with Jesus as we ordinarily imagine him. These stories present Jesus in a way that can be difficult for us to incorporate into the larger...

Home for the Holidays

Each of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—approaches the story of Jesus in a unique way and with a different purpose and audience in mind. Entering into the world that each of these storytellers creates is like walking into someone’s home and encountering sights, sounds, and smells...

Ephesians: Salvation for Service

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is less anchored in the actual circumstances of a particular faith community than some of Paul’s other letters are. Instead, Ephesians reads almost like a sermon, with Paul hitting head-on some of the most important theological issues of the early...

Holy Habits

Devout Christians have long sought after something called “holiness.” We have misunderstood this pursuit as a striving toward perfection, which is obviously out of our reach in this life. Holiness is better understood as spiritual strength or fortitude, and our spirits are not made strong...

Upside Down

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...

Grace in the Wilderness

The prophet Jeremiah declares that the people of God "found grace in the wilderness" (Jer. 31:2). Although Israel's years of wandering were filled with challenges, the wilderness was where God shaped them and where God's abundant grace was made manifest to them. We are living through our own kind...


Before the particular history of the people of Israel begins in earnest with God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12, there is another history—a prehistory. The stories of Genesis 1-11 which make up this prehistory are origin stories: stories that invite us to think about why the world is the way that...

Maundy Thursday 2020

Everyone Will Know Thursday, April 9, 2020

Last Words

When the four gospel accounts are combined, Jesus speaks seven times from the cross, commonly referred to as the "Seven Last Words" of Christ. During the weeks of Lent we take a careful look at these important sayings of Jesus, spoken in his dying moments. In so many ways, they distill not only...

20/20 Vision

Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light" (Matt. 6:22). At the start of a new year and a new decade, it's a good time to get our (spiritual) vision checked. Are we seeing things clearly, or has our vision been blurred, blocked, or...

When the four gospel accounts are combined, Jesus speaks seven times from the cross, commonly referred to as the "Seven Last Words" of Christ. During the weeks of Lent we take a careful look at these important sayings of Jesus, spoken in his dying moments. In so many ways, they distill not only his own life, teaching, and purpose, but also our own experience of life before God.

The Word of Forgiveness

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Audio Video Luke 23:32-34

The first of seven last words that Jesus speaks from the cross is, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." These are extraordinary words—not only do they reveal the character of Jesus; they also reveal the very heart of God.

The Word of Salvation

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Audio Video Luke 23:39-43

Jesus hangs on the cross between two criminals. The first criminal mocks Jesus, while the second is assured of salvation. Though they are very different, both men who died beside Jesus have something important to teach us about salvation.

The Word of Community

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Audio Video Gal 3:23-29 & John 19:25-27

From the cross, Jesus looks at his mother and one of his disciples and redefines their relationship to one another. In so doing, Jesus redefines the way all Christians relate to one another, forming a new kind of community—which we call the Church.

The Word of Abandonment

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Audio Video Psalm 22:1-11 & Mark 15:33-41

Jesus cries out in apparent despair from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" In this darkest moment of scripture, we find the very heart of the good news of God in Christ.

The Word of Distress

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Audio Video Psalm 69:16-21 & John 19:28-29

In the midst of all of the physical suffering that Jesus is enduring on the cross, John reports that Jesus says, "I am thirsty." These are remarkable words coming from the one who is himself the source of living water, and they tell us a lot about how the salvation of God is at work in the world.

The Last Word

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Audio Video Mt 21:1-11 | Jn 19:30 | Lk 23:44-46

Jesus begins the week with a triumphal entry into the power center of Jerusalem and he ends it powerless on a cross. These events reveal the very heart of the gospel and how God is at work in our lives in Christ.

The Word After That

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

Audio Video Acts 10:34-43 & Mt 28:1-10

Jesus spoke his final words from the cross, but there was still a word after that: God's bold declaration that death does not have power over life.