A God of Surprises (A Reflection on Acts 9.1-20)

The lesson appointed for today from the Acts of the Apostles tells the story of two men in very different circumstances whose lives are about to intersect in a way neither of them could have expected. It’s a common literary trope, and reads like the blurb on the back of a novel. And as is … Continue reading A God of Surprises (A Reflection on Acts 9.1-20)

When You Pray…

The Gospel assigned for today contains the most familiar words of the Christian faith, the Lord’s prayer. The passage continues Jesus’ discussion about performative spirituality on which I commented last week. Jesus has just taught the disciples to be avoid flashy displays of their fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. And now he pushes on, teaching them … Continue reading When You Pray…

Grace for Today (A Lenten Reflection on Luke 9.18-25)

As I was reading the Gospel this morning, I was struck by a single word: daily. In the passage, Peter has just correctly identified Jesus as the Messiah, but now Jesus must redefine for the disciples what that means. Being the Messiah doesn’t mean triumph, liberation and power — at least not as they expected … Continue reading Grace for Today (A Lenten Reflection on Luke 9.18-25)

As Children, As Grown ups (A reflection on Mark 9.30-37)

Long-time readers will know by now that I love the quote from the physicist Niels Bohr, that the opposite of a great truth is also true. It’s an important idea and it’s linked to my fundamental theological maxim: that, in order to avoid idolatry and misunderstanding, we have to be willing to unsay everything we … Continue reading As Children, As Grown ups (A reflection on Mark 9.30-37)

Spotless (A Reflection on Mark 7.14-23)

“There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mk 7.15f) This brief passage from today’s Gospel reading is one of the most revolutionary of Jesus’ … Continue reading Spotless (A Reflection on Mark 7.14-23)