Something about Humility (175)

[Job 38:1-7, 34-41; Mark 10:35-45]

Most people today do not have spiritual conversations—at least not very often. We don’t talk much about God. We don’t talk much about prayer. We don’t talk much about theological virtues. Most of us are not comfortable with spiritual language. This is all according to a study outlined recently in the New York Times.[1] Continue reading “Something about Humility (175)”

The Limits of Water (162)

I want to focus on the story of Peter and the gentiles today. It’s from Acts 10. We’ll get there in a moment, but first I have a question for you about Mennonite moments.

Have you ever had a Mennonite moment? More specifically, have you had a Mennonite moment in the shower?

This sounds weird. You’re wondering: What is a Mennonite moment? Is it allowed, even in the shower? Is that the only place it can happen? What about Menno Simons? He didn’t even have a shower. Does a Mennonite moment involve peace? Does it have something to do with baptism? Is it a historic thing, like being burned by Catholics or drowned by the Swiss? Can you have a Mennonite moment . . . if you’re not a Mennonite? Continue reading “The Limits of Water (162)”

The Tempting ‘And’ (109)

Despite the general belief to the contrary, there is some evidence that Jesus was a comedian. Comedy, good comedy at least, is all about timing, surprise, truth and discomfort. microphone-fist-2That’s how I see it. Making people laugh is only part of the gig. A video of a guy getting whacked in the groin might make you laugh but it isn’t necessarily good comedy. Now, as far as I know there’s no record of Jesus doing that last thing but there is plenty to suggest he was quite good when it came to timing, surprise, truth and discomfort. This Sunday’s gospel text, Luke 14:24-33, is one example. Continue reading “The Tempting ‘And’ (109)”