Polarization and Peace

A sermon on Ephesians 2:11-22 Sometimes, as a preacher, there are moments when the biblical text preaches to you in ways much that are infinitely more powerful than anything you could think to say. That was the case this week, when I read this passage in Ephesians. The more I sat with it, the more... Continue Reading →

Breath and Fire

Breath and fire. Breath and fire. Is it just me or have the past few days been about little else than breath and fire? George Floyd ran out of breath. Or, rather, it was choked out of him before the eyes of the world, a man on his knees in a pose perverting the posture... Continue Reading →

Dust: A Sermon for Good Friday

We began Lent with stark words, as ashes were placed upon our foreheads in the sign of the cross, and we came face to face with human reality: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. We had no idea then just how fitting it would be. Here we all are, worshipping... Continue Reading →

Going On: A Play in One Act

An audio of a performance of "Going On" from December 21, 2019 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, with Lauren Diesch as Kate, Lanny Langston as Todd, and Katie Langston as Deanna. Download a PDF of "Going On." You're welcome to perform it (and to cut the swear words for a church performance); please drop... Continue Reading →

Is This What You Think I Want?

Sermon from February 9, 2020 A hopefully-not-too-presumptuous modern-day paraphrase of Isaiah 58:1-12 Listen up, people!I’ve got a message for you from God, and I’m gonna wail it out like an electric guitar.God is sick of our rebellion, our neglect of what is right.And I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you:We’re in some deep trouble.... Continue Reading →

2019 Superlatives

Favorite moments and media from the year that was. (Disclaimer: Not much of this stuff came out in 2019, this is just when I discovered it.) Reads In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in an Unknown Country by Kim Barnes. This is a beautiful memoir by poet Kim Barnes about her childhood in northern Idaho.... Continue Reading →

The Sign: An Advent Reflection

Isaiah 7:10-17 10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the... Continue Reading →

What Makes a Saint?

I preached this sermon at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church on November 3, 2019 for All Saints' Day. "What Makes a Saint?" Luke 18:9-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to... Continue Reading →

How Do We Know What We Know?

The essay that follows can be downloaded as a PDF with references and footnotes here. Pernik, Bulgaria, November 2003 Ivan[1] glanced up, a mix of affection and annoyance in his eyes. “Az znam che nishto ne znam,” he said. “You know what that means, don’t you?”  I nodded. The only thing I know is that... Continue Reading →

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