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…
They grow up so fast, don’t they?  It seems like only a few days ago that we were waiting in holy anticipation for God to come into the world; a baby in a manger, hungry and thirsty and naked, weak and in danger and in desperate need of someone to care for him, born to parents who were far from home and unable to find a room for the night. And now it is the Sunday after Christmas. Now it is four days after Christmas. Now it is many years after Christmas. And we read that Jesus—who was a…
Tonight is Christmas Eve, today is the last day of Advent, the season when we look forward to God coming into the world: long ago, as a baby, among a dispossessed people in an occupied land and on a day no one knows, in triumph and glory, to usher in the kingdom of God. And on Christmas Eve—on the last day of Advent—we light a candle and we tell a story. And the story starts like this: God loved the world this way. God called the worlds into being, and planted a garden, and saw that it was good…
Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent, the season when we look forward to God coming into the world: long ago, as a baby, among a dispossessed people in an occupied land and on a day no one knows, in triumph and glory, to usher in the kingdom of God. Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent, when we light a candle for love. I need to preface this a little bit. I am bad with names. It takes me a while to learn a new person’s name. And even after I’ve learned it, if I’m put on the…
In all of the commotion about impeachment and an impending Senate trial, a story flew under the radar. President Trump recently paid $2 million in damages for misusing charitable money. That $2 million is going to eight charities. In addition, the Trump Foundation is dissolving (it’s $1.7 million in remaining assets going to the same charities), the President’s future charitable endeavors in New York will be under ongoing supervision by the New York Attorney General’s Office, and the Trump children must undergo compulsory training on how to not misuse charitable funds. (Washington Post, NPR, AP, USA Today) In 2016,…
Today is the second Sunday of Advent, the season when we look forward to God coming into the world: long ago, as a baby, among a dispossessed people in an occupied land and on a day no one knows, in triumph and glory, to usher in the kingdom of God. Today is the second Sunday of Advent, when we light a candle for peace. There is a room in Building 87 of the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where there is next to no sound. A chainsaw makes noise at about 109 decibels (dB). Regular, prolonged, unprotected exposure for more than…
This is sort of a reworking of this earlier post: Why You Shouldn’t Worry So Much about #GivingTuesday. Every mid- to late-October when I was fundraiser, I would start seeing posts about #GivingTuesday. There are a lot of people who would love to give you—or, probably more often, sell you—advice about how to make this year’s #GivingTuesday the best #GivingTuesday ever. And they all use the hashtag. Giving Tuesday is a weird little holiday that started in 2012. It’s not even a decade old and it has caught on like wildfire in the nonprofit community. Almost every organization that…
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the season when we look forward to God coming into the world: long ago, as a baby, among a dispossessed people in an occupied land and on a day no one knows, in triumph and glory, to usher in the kingdom of God. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, when we light a candle for hope. And, I’ll be honest, I’m… conflicted… about hope. A few years ago, I was working with an organization that was trying to choose a new mission statement. They wanted something short, punchy, and memorable; something they could use…