Epiphany 1B

So it’s a week to be an Oregonian, no? I have to love it when our gas-pumping habits make the national news. On Thursday I woke up to the Washington Post headline that read “I don’t even know HOW: Some Oregonians panic about the new self-service gas law.”

Great. The rest of the country already thinks that we’re … Read the rest

The Word is Good

Christmas Dayword flesh

  • How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger.
  • The Lord has bared his holy arm.
  • Let the rivers clap their hands.
  • He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty.
  • The Word became flesh.

This morning’s lessons contain something like a sacred inventory of body parts: Feet. Arms. Hands. Flesh. In order to describe … Read the rest

Advent 4B

Nothing will be impossible with God. This is what the angel Gabriel told the young Mary, echoing the message of 2nd Samuel when the Lord told the prophet Nathan that God would make a great house from the line of the simple shepherd now become king David. And Paul reiterates it in his own way when he … Read the rest

Jesus & Jonathan Haidt

pantocratorChrist the King 2017

Today being Christ the King Sunday, and myself never having lived under the authority of an earthly king, I thought I’d better do some research into how my peers think about kings. So I did what contemporary people do, and turned to the Oracle of Mountain View—that being Google—for insight.

I figured that I’d learn a … Read the rest

Clothed for the Kingdom

Proper 23A

clothesFriends, how did you get in here? That’s a serious question. Did you walk, drive, take the train? Did you come through the south or north doors, or through the slype, that little vestibule over there? When you arrived, did someone greet you with kindness, hand you a bulletin, tell you where to take your children or show … Read the rest

It's All One Way

Proper 17Aone way

“There’s no way out,” lamented a headline from Houston this week. Of all the horrifying and heartbreaking reportage from the flood zone, this one felt the most personal because just a week ago Saturday I was sitting in an eerily quiet airport terminal in Austin Texas, similarly wondering if there were a way out. Which of course there … Read the rest

Furnace of Angels

Proper 11Awood oven

Have any of you parents out there had the experience of your young children learning a classroom lesson on the environment and then becoming the household garbage police? I admit it, my children were the ones who insisted—leaving no room for negotiation—that I separate waste from recyclables.

I may not have been an early adopter, but of course … Read the rest

If it's not all right, it's not the end

Proper 8Abest exotic

In the 2012 movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” manager Sonny Kapoor has marketed the Jaipur hotel he inherited from his father as a retirement home for budget conscious English retirees. The place is terribly dilapidated—basically it’s a wreck—so central to the narrative is how a small colony of English expats adjust to the reality of an Indian … Read the rest

Pride and Priestliness

Proper 6A

prideWill no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

Sometime in the 12th century, this phrase, or something like unto it, was reputedly said by King Henry II to his courtiers. They interpreted it as a command to murder Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been challenging the king in matters of property and legal … Read the rest

Curious to Hear

Pentecost A


Others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

You and I probably know a few of those sneering others. Maybe we heard them say things like “those are just a bunch of coastal elites.” Or “they voted for crooked Hillary,” or even—tragically if falsely—“Get off the bus and get out of the country because you don’t … Read the rest