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Category Archives: Worship

God’s Fiction: A Sermon of Vulnerability (Luke 18:1-6)

Preached at Church of the Servant King, Portland (10/20/13) “Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).   Losing heart is shockingly easy. We are endlessly vulnerable in this world. We are made vulnerable by powers that rule over us, we are made vulnerable […]

The Truth about Love: A Resurrection Sermon

And now, after the end, now at the beginning, will shall speak, yet again of Love. Love eludes us. Only slightly more frequently and more intensely does love seize us, make us love’s own in the very moment when we find ourselves most lethargic, most unable to take another step. At the moment when we […]

Christ’s baptism, Christ’s confession

A fitting reflection I think, for this Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord: When He had Himself baptised with water by John, Jesus confessed both God and [humankind]. A better way of putting it is that because He confessed God, the God whose will was soon to be done on earth as it is in […]

The severity of hope

The reduction of hope is one of our greatest temptations. Hope, unlike optimism, nostalgia, or raw self-assertion speaks of a space in which all our abilities to “deal” with our situation have vanished. We have no raw data, resources, skills, or powers with which to get a handle on things, and are left only to […]

Advent and the end of religion

There’s a somewhat famous quote from Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison (November 21, 1943, pp. 188-89) on the nature of Advent: “By the way, a prison cell like this is a good analogy for Advent; one waits, hopes, does this or that — ultimately negligible things — the door is locked and can only be […]

Good Friday

Ethics and religion and church all go in this direction: from the human to God. Christ, however, speaks only and exclusively of the line from God to human beings, not of some human path to God, but only of God’s own path to humans. Hence it is also fundamentally wrong to seek a new morality […]

Remember that you are dust

Last Wednesday I facilitated much of our church’s observance of Ash Wednesday, leading out in the reading of Scripture, confession, and the application of ashes. I have done this many years before and it has always been a profound time of mediation on the salvation of the Gospel, but this year it was unique. For […]

And save us when we fall

Thanks to Jason for posting this confession, which I utilized last night in our Ash Wednesday service (which went very well, I believe). A worth confession for many of us indeed. Vision and mirage Lord Jesus, you have faced temptation; you know how difficult it can be to distinguish between vision and mirage, between truth […]

Dude, where’s my liturgy?

There’s been lots of really great discussion that’s arisen from my recent post on the (in)ability of liturgical practices as such to produce transformation in Christian ecclesial life. I’ve appreciated it all very much. But one question I’ve had as a result of some comments around the blogosphere concern statements like the following: “The real […]

The impotence of the liturgical year

Around Advent a lot gets written about the importance of the liturgical year. Advent is the Christian New Year. It marks the beginning of our true, authentic, Christian time. And marking time according to our Christian calendar offers us a way of forming our lives that resists the machinations of corporate capitalism, the nation state, […]

Kingdom-World-Church: Some Provisional Theses

by Nathan R. Kerr, Ry O. Siggelkow, and Halden Doerge In a recent conversation on this blog regarding an important review, by Ry Siggelkow, I (Nate Kerr) suggested in the comments that to think rightly what it means to say that “mission makes the church,” that mission as lived proclamation of and witness to Christ’s […]

Revolutionary Christianity

David Rensberger, in his helpful article, “Conflict and Community in the Johannine Letters” points out the deeply revolutionary and apocalyptic nature of the Joahnnine message, especially in relation to Christology and the ethics of agape: The author of the Letters defends incarnational Christology not just because it is “what you heard from the beginning” (1 […]

The Prayer of Holy Saturday

Triune God, who loves in freedom and hast chosen us from all eternity to be your creatures and your partners: in humility majestic and in powerlessness almighty, you have made our humanity your own.  In Jesus, you came closer to us than we are to ourselves, yet more like us though so greatly different from […]

It really is Good Friday

The glory of God that calls forth our worship is not God’s absoluteness, that is, not an identity perfected by secure possession of it. God is not God because God holds the divine identity and does not let anyone else have it. That is the mark of Satan. God is God because God shares that […]

A very different power

This is one of my favorite quotes from Alan Lewis’s superb book, Between Cross and Resurrection. I figured it was definitely worth reposting this week: It is a very different God, and a very different power, that we have discovered in the story of divine self-emptying, God’s capacity for weakness, the ability - without loss of Godness […]

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