Month: January 2020

Do me a favor. Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine something with me. It is a dark and stormy night. The clouds obscure the moon and the stars. The lights from town are off in the distance. The rain is falling in sheets. You can barely see your hand in front of your face. And any reasonable person would be at home, in front of the fire, safe and dry, with a good book and a cup of tea. But you had some errand in the countryside, and your car got stuck in the mud, and no reasonable…
The audio on this recording is pretty bad. I apologize for that. It looks like our lectern microphone is having some issues and that’s generating a lot of static. A few years ago, I gave a sermon at Mariah’s church. It was a sermon about holy impatience for the kingdom of God and the messianic banquet. It was about getting the party started. It was a masterpiece of homiletics. And in that sermon, I said that I don’t wear a tie unless it is absolutely necessary and it is never absolutely necessary. I also said that even if only…
Jesus came into the world to heal. Christ came into the world to restore. We saw that in last week’s reading, when Jesus rebuked an unclean spirit and healed Simon’s mother-in-law… like it was nothing. We saw it in last week’s reading, when, after Jesus did those things, more and more people showed up, saying, “Will you touch, will you heal me Christ?” And he touched them, and he healed them… like it was nothing. And, after a while, there were so many people that Jesus couldn’t even go into town without the mob showing up. So he stayed…
A week-and-a-half ago, on Christmas Eve, we celebrated Christ coming into the world as a baby… among a dispossessed people in an occupied land… to parents who were far from home and who couldn’t find a room for a night. A week-and-a-half ago, on Christmas day, we were not here together, but each of us, in our own way, marked the paradox of Christmas: that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home. A week ago, we read about how Jesus—that baby in a manger, that child in ragged clothes, that king of kings—began his ministry:…
Last summer, my book Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) was published by Cascade Books. Some time in early December, I started seeing lists of the best books of 2019, like these from The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Goodreads, and Publishers Weekly. And Radical Charity wasn’t on any of them. Of course, I didn’t expect Radical Charity to be on any of them. I didn’t expect that partly because it isn’t one of the best books of 2019. It is a good book. It is an important book. And if you want to argue against the charity skepticism that is part of the nonprofit landscape from…

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