Page One–Gabriel and Mary

The story of Gabriel and Mary is remarkable.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were selected for being “righteous before God.”  There is no indication from Luke that Mary was all that good of a person.  She was chosen for really mysterious reasons.  At best, she was engaged to a man descended from David.  That makes it prophetically convenient to choose Mary.  Nevertheless, Gabriel certifies that Mary has … Continue reading Page One–Gabriel and Mary

Wrong Picture Retake

I have become really appreciative of United Methodeviations.  Dan Dick’s blog usually features some of the best writing in United Methodism.  I also appreciate his UM-specific focus. Recently, he told an all-too-familiar story of a young clergyperson leaving ‘the ministry’.  She was the kind of pastor the church desperately needs…community focused, passionate, intelligent, committed to quality and articulate.  She has since taken on directorship of … Continue reading Wrong Picture Retake

Money Matters in Church

I stepped off of the pulpit area to speak to the congregation.  This is not totally unusual.  But on this particular Sunday, the priestly role blurs with the pastoral role.  I am still called to lead, to help others pray, confess, praise, repent, convert, sanctify and serve.  Today, though, the topic was a prickly one: money. Strangely, the passage around which we worshiped is one … Continue reading Money Matters in Church

Good Company

“Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.” –John 6:66– Beware Preacher! of ever using a quotation from Jesus to illustrate a matter within the pastoral trade.  We are not shepherds, but sheep dogs at best.  But it is nice to know that the shepherd, despite St. John’s penchant for idealizing the Lord and his work, actually … Continue reading Good Company

Listening

On my current ear infection and related matters of life and ministry. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice! Last Monday I called my general practitioner seeking help for clogged up ears.  I heard the nurse on the other end inform me that the doctor’s … Continue reading Listening