The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: A Reflection on Luke 18.9-14

Self-righteousness is a funny form of sin: It is pretty much universally loathed, yet also pervasive, and it is among the easiest sins for us to spot in others, yet one of the hardest to spot in ourselves. This very problem, however, says something important about what self-righteousness actually is: an inversion of repentance so … Continue reading The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: A Reflection on Luke 18.9-14

On Repentance and Forgiveness

This past Sunday's post talked about the continuity between what God desired for the world before and after Jesus' death and resurrection. Before, the message was about restoring relationships through repentance and forgiveness of sins; and after, the message remains restoring relationships through repentance and forgiveness of sins. This message is one we badly need … Continue reading On Repentance and Forgiveness

The More Things Change…

Over the past couple weeks, I've been reading a beautiful essay collection called One Long River of Song, by Brian Doyle, who passed away due to complications from a brain tumor in 2017. One essay that particularly stuck out to me, called "Everyone Thinks That Awful Comes by Itself, But It Doesn't," begins like this: … Continue reading The More Things Change…


The other day, we commemorated the Baptism of Jesus, a truly powerful moment in the life of Jesus and a paradigm for our own life of faith. Unfortunately, our Sunday lectionary readings leave what happens next until Lent: Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. I say 'unfortunately,' because it feels like this part of the story … Continue reading Tempted

Waters of Repentance

Today, on this first Sunday after Epiphany, we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. For me this commemoration is sort of like an Epiphany Part II, because I spent several years in the Eastern Orthodox Church, where Christ's Baptism in the Jordan is the primary commemoration of Epiphany itself. In the Eastern tradition, the feast is … Continue reading Waters of Repentance