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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 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 hope. The weeks of Easter serve as an annual reminder for us that hope is founded upon the loving action of a faithful God who is determined to demonstrate that life—not death—gets the last word.

Hope Springs Eternal

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

Audio Video Isaiah 25 & Mark 16

Mark's telling of the Easter story is a strange mixture of fear and hope, which is a fitting depiction of life in the world: hope and fear intermingled, inextricably tied together. But this is no ordinary hope; the hope we discover at the empty tomb is eternal, unending, undying hope.

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Audio Video Hebrews 6:13-20

The character of hope is determined by its foundation. Hope that is founded upon ephemeral things—ambition, success, approval, comfort—will itself be fleeting. But when our hope is rooted in God's unchanging purpose for the world, our hope will never be shaken.

Hope of the World

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Audio Video Isaiah 65:17-25 & Rev 21:1-5a

It is not uncommon for Christians to assume that ultimately, in the end, God plans to toss this broken world on the trash heap (minus the faithful, of course). But this assumption ignores the consistent through-line in scripture of God's unwavering hope for the world and all that is in it.

Live into Hope

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Audio Video Matthew 25:31-46

Hope is not just something we cast out into an uncertain future; hope is something that has—or at least ought to have—a profound impact on who we are and how we live today. And when we live hope-shaped lives, we help bring hope to others.

Hope Against Hope

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Audio Video Romans 8:18-25

Is there a limit to hope? Does hope dwindle to nothing in the face of the truly hopeless? Or can hope be maintained even when there's no good reason left for hope? Hoping for the impossible—hoping against hope—proves to be the ultimate test case for the power of hope.