The Episcopal Café asked folks recently to answer the question—how do Episcopalians understand their Identity as Episcopalians?
So here’s my response: #MyEpiscopalIdentity
First and foremost, to be an Episcopalian is to be a Christian, and so my Episcopal Identity is about believing in Jesus the Christ:
that God decided to become human to live through the struggle and mess of this life, and ultimately redeem it. I believe that God loved us so much, with such a ridiculous and catastrophic love, that God actually became one of us in order to live, die, and then conquer death itself–just to love us better. I believe that God chooses to take what’s dead and make it new again, and that we have the beautiful opportunity to work alongside God in this.
My faith as an Episcopalian is how I choose to respond to that love. Why have I chosen to live out this belief in this way, rather than any other church?
Well… Continue reading My Episcopal Identity
Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday, based on Luke’s Account, found here.
“It is good for us to be here! Let us build three dwellings! One for you and one for Moses, and one for Elijah…”
He babbled, dumbstruck. His eyes were heavy, his body heavier—he was tired, our Peter—and he was blinded. Here stood his teacher, dazzling white in this inexplicable light, white like lightning, speaking with the two most important men in the history of Israel. He saw them turn, and perhaps Moses lifted a hand to Jesus, reached to touch him in with some sort of comforting hold—and Peter knew that they were turning to leave. He blurted it out, leaning forward, nearing peeling after them:
“Let us build three dwellings!” Continue reading The Transfiguration is about Peter–and imperfection.
A thought–a devotion–a plea–a confession–based on Luke 10:25-36.
Just then a theologian stood up to test the teacher. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
But wanting to justify himself, he asked the teacher, “And who is my neighbor?” the teacher replied: Continue reading The American Samaritan
I asked my confirmation class yesterday what they knew about Islam. They drew a blank. They knew nothing. So–the Islamic Studies nerd in me started babbling–same God, Abraham, Five Pillars… They sort of rolled their eyes.
It occurred to me that many of my students receive their only education about religion from me–their youth director–and I’m so busy trying to give them a taste of Christianity, that I never thought that their only education about other religions comes from hearsay and the news media. Continue reading Talk to your youth groups about Islam. Do it now.
This past Sunday, I preached on the Annunciation at Hamline Church. The gist of it: Mary the Mother of God, Nadia Boltz-Weber, #blacklivesmatter–and finally, to have faith like Mary is to believe that we already are who God says we are, already enough to wade into the storm in our world.
Continue reading We are already enough for these times: Sermon on 11/29
How many times have you started a conversation by saying “I’m Christian, but I’m not…crazy/fundamentalist/mean/convinced that there is a war on Christmas”? It is always really icky-feeling, isn’t it?
As progressive Christians, we have GOT to get rid of this precursor to all that we are. By speaking like this, we are only reinforcing that normative Christianity IS crazy/fundamentalist/mean/convinced that there is a war on Christmas–that we are the outliers.
And “War on Christmas” Christianity is not normative–it is not the true Jesus movement, it is not our religion. The way of truth and life, the way of resurrection and restoration and reconciliation, THAT is our religion. Let’s start talking about ourselves as if that’s true.
So, here are some ways that we can describe who we are that don’t begin with “But I’m not…” Continue reading 10 ways to describe your progressive Christian faith without saying “But I’m not…”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the lectionary text from this past Sunday, Mark 10:17-31. [This may be because it’s the chosen text at our non-lectionary church for This Coming Sunday. Brainsplosion, I know.]
This is one of those stories that we hear every three years and it always hurts a little bit. The well-to-do man comes up to Jesus and says, “I’ve done everything right! Now, how can I be sure that I’ll get into heaven?” Continue reading They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”