Exodus 12:1-14 Pharaoh is trapped. Moses and Aaron went staff-in-hand to the god-man of Egypt and said what the Lord told them to say: that the Lord claimed Israel as God’s own, and demanded they be set free to worship in the wilderness. But Moses already knows, we already know, that Pharaoh’s heart will be … Continue reading Liberation
Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus had reasons for going to Syria and its hard not to see it as a retreat to grieve and regroup. He has been disappointed and rejected in his hometown synagogue. And now John has been murdered in prison. Jesus may well, before the curtain of the Gospel tradition rises, have been a … Continue reading A Canaanite woman
Matthew 14:22-33. I’m only a competent swimmer. Two summers ago, we were living in southeast Florida, where I was serving as an intern hospital chaplain. The days were almost always hard, but I would come home, we’d make our dinner and eat it, and then go down to the beach. I’m only a competent swimmer, … Continue reading The sea everywhere
John 11:1-45 The women have been buried in the house for four days. It isn’t a big place, and its full of people mourning their brother. And maybe that’s alright, because, if it wasn’t they would be alone with corner where he laid down, where they wrestled against the fever to keep him. The doorway … Continue reading The Raising of Lazarus.
Luke 14:15–24 So much happens around dinner in the Gospel of Luke. And often, we are listening to Jesus eating with wealthy people. He ate with them often enough to know how to do it acceptably. He knew how to recline at the table, when to wash, when to reach into the food. He knew … Continue reading Be present at our table, Lord.
Robert Alter noticed that the striking thing about the way the story of Moses on Sinai is told, is the “terrifying distance” between him and everyone watching below the cloud. That was rolling around in my head the week I preached this, and somehow the inescapable thought was the loneliness of that scene. And then, even the loneliness of Jesus in the Transfiguration.
Continue reading Transfiguration and the loneliness of Jesus.
Several years ago, before I’d ever read Ellen Davis’ work on the Old Testament as texts intensely concerned with the care of the land, I heard an interview she gave on the radio. She described growing up in California and the awareness of what a precious and easily wounded that land was, and how … Continue reading Orange Groves, Emmanuel