Judgment Turns to Hope

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation.  It’s easy to jump forward to the birth of the little baby Jesus and the star and the wise ones bearing gifts.  We’ll soon be decorating our homes with twinkly, sparkly things and hear the golden voice of Johnny Mathis floating through the halls.  But during Advent, we wait and we work. …

Hallowtide

Last night was good.  As has become our annual tradition, we made a lot of food and bought a lot of candy.  Good friends come over to help us eat and drink and pass out candy to thousands of kids that swarm our neighborhood.  As always, it was delightful seeing all the tiny adorable kids in their tiny adorable costumes.  …

Depression and Suicide: Beyond Buzzfeed

The death of Robin Williams this week has brought a ton of information about depression and suicide bubbling to the top of social networks and message boards and content aggregators.  That’s probably a good thing.  Much of the power that drives a person to that point and keeps one from asking for help is the feeling that one is alone, …

Loose Screws Sink Shelves

One of the things I think we have all noticed in reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a kind of divisiveness.  Paul is very concerned to draw distinctions, such as those who live according to the Flesh as opposed to the Spirit.  We see something similar in the language of the Matthew passages we have been following.  Especially in …

Death and the Possibility of New Life (Gun Violence Sabbath Sermon)

(This was my sermon from Sunday’s Gun Violence Sabbath.  – Scott) Erbie Bowser was a school teacher who worked with special education students. He was an imposing figure at 6-foot 7-inches and 335 pounds, but was described as a “gentle giant” by those who knew him. He liked to have fun, entertaining crowds before Mavericks games with the a dance …

Reasoning from Above

This Sunday, Church in the Cliff is proud to participate in the Gun Violence Sabbath Weekend, in partnership with the Washington National Cathedral and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence.  In preparation, I’ve been looking at a lot of statistics.  It’s upsetting.  I remember the day of Sandy Hook.  I was in California for Lisa’s company holiday party.  We were …

A Hoping Machine, a Working Machine: St. Woody Guthrie

If Bayard Rustin is the architect of the progressive movement in America, perhaps Woody Guthrie is the soundtrack.  He seems to be rediscovered as each generation finds itself, once again, in lean times.  Then he is forgotten when people forget that hard times can happen to them, too.  Woody always remembered because he lived it.  Although he started life in …

The Decisive Moment

Since this is the last in our mini-series on the cross, I might as well lay my cards on the table.  This view is offered not as a final answer, but as an opportunity for further questions.  Ultimately, I think the cross is just that – an opportunity for more questions. The theologian Schubert Ogden describes Christ as the decisive …

The Scandal of the Cross

It seems that the people of the Jesus Movement expected something else.  Maybe a violent overthrow of their Roman oppressors.  Maybe just a living wage and single-payer health care.  A chicken in every pot.  Maybe they just wanted someone, one of their own, to say that he understood and to speak for them and fight for them.  But it didn’t …