The Great Feast: A Parable

The kingdom of God is like a noble lord who threw a lavish banquet. He invited not only the rich but the poor, not only the free but the slaves, not only the acceptable people but the sinners and outcasts as well. As they sat down at the feast some began to complain, saying, “That …

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My Confession of Faith

There is one and only one reason why I am, and remain, a Christian: Jesus. In Jesus I see God embodied, a God who is a friend of sinners, who finds the lost and feasts the least and firsts the last. In Jesus I see a God who runs to wayward children, welcoming them in …

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What’s up with Paul’s language of “the flesh”?

Last night our church held a prayer service in which I invited the congregation to listen for God’s voice to us as I read Scripture. We then responded to this “word of the Lord” through silence, prayer, and song. It was a wonderfully simple service. One of the extended Bible readings we did was Galatians …

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The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships

This was the subtitle of a study conference our denomination had 3.5 years ago, hosted at our church: “The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships.” I was one of the plenary speakers at the conference. Although I would word a few things differently now—I’ve learned much since then, and my own perspective has settled—I feel two of …

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The Sermon on the Mount, Twitter Edition

I've just been reflecting on the year-long sermon series I did last year at our church on Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, that wonderful collection of some of Jesus' core kingdom teachings. It was a series in three parts: the first part walking through "The Beatitudes," the blessings that open the Sermon; the second part …

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On Giving to Your Local Church

The Christmas season is often called “the season of giving.” Those of us who follow this tradition, whether Christian or not, give and receive gifts this time of year. For some Christians, this includes giving a little extra to their local church—an especially helpful gift at a time of year when many churches are struggling …

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On Being—and Doing—Church

There are many good New Testament passages one can explore to envision what the church should be and do: Romans 12-15, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4-5 are all good options, among others. Still, when I think about the church there’s one specific verse that always seems to come to mind first: They devoted themselves …

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