Blog Posts

Benediction: Jonah 3-4

There are some theologians who think that when Jesus was telling the story of the Prodigal Son he was intentionally re-imagining the story of Jonah. If we think about Jonah sitting on the hillside, angry at God’s mercy toward undeserving people, we can see how similar it is to the Older Brother, refusing to join … Continue reading Benediction: Jonah 3-4

Benediction: Matthew 5:20

The Old Testament is a story of failure. Repeated Failure. A thousand odd pages of God telling people “Trust me and live”, and people responding with a “No thanks.”. And apart from a jump in time, my story, and your story would fit in perfectly well. Which is why these passages from Jeremiah read with … Continue reading Benediction: Matthew 5:20

Benediction: Parenting

One of my favorite songs is called “Broken Tether” by the Collection. The singer is wrestling with his failure and claims that if he were to meet God in person he’d change all his ways and be a better person–which might be true. But then comes a line that gets me every time: I hope … Continue reading Benediction: Parenting

Benediction: Jonah 1

Jonah is clearly a failed Christ figure. He even spent 3 days in a tomb that should have been the end of his life. Both were asked to go into the middle of those who hated them and preach the love and grace of God. Jonah chose to run, but Christ chose to die, even … Continue reading Benediction: Jonah 1

Benediction: Jonah 2

Many of the questions we ask God can’t be answered directly, not because God doesn’t know the answers but because our questions don’t make sense. As C.S. Lewis once pointed out, many of our questions are, from God’s point of view, rather like someone asking, “Is yellow square or round?” or “How many hours are … Continue reading Benediction: Jonah 2

Benediction: Isaiah 42:1-9

One of our biggest roadblocks to justice is the zero sum, winner takes all mentality.We also can’t just pursue Justice, but we must do so from a properly oriented heart.Maybe one helpful step in getting there, especially as we continue through this season of lent, is to remember that we were playing a zero sum … Continue reading Benediction: Isaiah 42:1-9

“Lift Up Thine Eyes”

I was born in Huntington, WV, which, for several years in a row, was ranked by Business Insider as “The Most Miserable City in America“, as well as “America’s Most Depressed, Unhealthy And Lethargic City“. I saw that in 2019 we jumped from #1 to #24, which is exciting considering the 20,000ish incorporated cities in … Continue reading “Lift Up Thine Eyes”

Poem: Sweetness too simple

The expectant dead surround meStanding. I see my shadow only and know I am alone.There amidst the circus beasts’ bonesI no longer have the strength or will to turnAnd see the light that burnsMy shade on the wall of the cave.(They will say “But he is a knaveWho in the garden labours,And is unable to … Continue reading Poem: Sweetness too simple

Benediction: Luke 2:8-20

I’m really fascinated by the Shepherds. This reprehensible, foul-smelling, swearing, group of men that spend their days with stupid animals, far from the center of anything important. But I’m really fixated on the moment of entry into the stable, or cave, or whatever it actually was where Jesus was born. Joseph, after the previous night’s … Continue reading Benediction: Luke 2:8-20

Benediction: Luke 1:26-28

I’ve always been fascinated by the “Island of Misfit Toys”. But it’s also always bothered me, because honestly, most of the residents aren’t that misfitted — a lot of them are really just misnamed and if I were empty-handed and on my to a child’s birthday party, I wouldn’t feel that terrible about buying one … Continue reading Benediction: Luke 1:26-28

Benediction: Luke 2:22-28

If I were asked what emotion I most associate with Christmas, it would probably be melancholy. Not sadness, but whatever feeling it is that accompanies “Christmas Time is Here” from a Charlie Brown Christmas. That lonely melody, to which a chorus of children sing “Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer, fun for all that … Continue reading Benediction: Luke 2:22-28

Benediction: Philippians 3:1-14

In the Old Testament, God established many feasts and celebrations. These were often command performances — no opting out. Because God loves His parties, and while they are certainly for His people, they are not about His people–but about His provision, His love, His faithfulness. I have to imagine there were plenty of Jewish people … Continue reading Benediction: Philippians 3:1-14