Interfaith Encounters Day 7

Our last day began and ended at Masjidullah in Northwest Philly. This Muslim community recently moved to this new space in January. Previously, the building was a Jewish synagogue and then a Christian church. First, we were greeted by Adilah, one of the leaders of their community. She had set up some refreshments for us […]

Read More

Yes, No, and…Whoa! Bizarro Jesus

Matthew 5:21-26; 33-37   -Martin Luther King, Jr., speech at St. Louis, 1964 Money is the root of all evils: poverty is the fruit of all goodness.         Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure. I am showering you with antitheses. But […]

Read More

Re-framing Blessedness

Matthew 5:1-12 How do you greet people? How do people greet you? It depends on where you live, of course. In Hawai’i, someone might approach you and say: How’s it? In Philly and South Jersey, I hear this a lot: How YOU doin’? Or, this: Whazzup? or What’s up, yo? Or the really short version: […]

Read More

Jars of Clay

Jeremiah 18:1-6   Art in Me is a song written by Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason, Matt Odmark, and Charlie Lowell–otherwise known as the band “Jars of Clay.” They are three-time Grammy award winners who recently released their 11th album [Inland]—this time under a new label. Jars of Clay, in 2007, left the contemporary Christian label […]

Read More

Giving Up Your Seat = Empathy

Luke 14:1-14 QUESTION: What is the worst seat you have ever had? Consider a concert, opera, game, classroom, etc. What is the best seat you have ever had? Here we are in Luke’s Gospel, and Jesus is still on his way to Jerusalem. Like a previous story about a bent-over woman, here we find a […]

Read More

Law Bends to Love

Luke 13:10-17  Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Clip to Watch… Les Miserables, the 10th Anniversary performance of the musical adapted from the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. Jean Valjean, a person from a poor family who gets arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. He spends the next 19 years in prison doing […]

Read More

Storms and the Peace Within

Luke 12:49-56 Last Sunday an unexpected visitor came to the church building. Twenty-four years old, he had the courage to drive to the NE suburb of Warminster all the way from Philly to walk through the doors of a strange church only seeking a conversation. As a consequence, my meeting was interrupted. I was pulled […]

Read More

Real Love, Really Possible!

John 13:31-35 One [Lyrics by Bono; Music by U2] Love is a temple, Love a higher law Love is a temple, Love the higher law One love, One blood One life, You got to do what you should One life, With each other Sisters, Brothers One life But we’re not the same We get to […]

Read More

Low Expectations and the Power of Touch

  John 20:19-31    Some of you know that from March 16-23 I decided to participate in a program of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia and the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire’s Better Together initiative. The program was called Interfaith Encounters Alternative Spring Break. There were 44 students from the school from around the world, hailing […]

Read More