Category: John

  • Doubting in Community (a sermon on John 20:19-31, part 2)

    Hi friends, Last week I posted the first half of a sermon on “Doubting Thomas.” This is the second half! ___ I noticed something else, too, when reflecting on this passage—something I hadn’t really thought much about before.  I noticed that there’s a whole week in between when Jesus appears to the first group of…

  • Permission to Doubt (a sermon on John 20:19-31, part 1)

    Hi friends, I was thankful to be able to guest preach a couple weeks ago at Normandy Park United Church of Christ. I thought I’d share a written version of the sermon here, too. Because I feel like I benefited from having to think a lot about Thomas, and faith, and doubt, and “believing without…

  • Peace to be fearless

    Hi friends, This Easter week has me thinking about what most of Jesus’ disciples did, as recorded in John’s gospel, right after Jesus’ resurrection. Just that morning, Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty and then saw the risen Jesus (looking a lot like a gardener; John 20:11-18). And now the disciples have gone and locked…

  • Spiritual conversations and the Samaritan woman (reflections on John 4:1-26)

    Hi friends, A couple weeks back, my church’s sermon and small group discussions centered on the (sadly unnamed) Samaritan woman at the well, and her conversation with Jesus as told in John 4:1-26.  At our small group meeting, I happened to pick up a version of the Bible that has Jesus’ words in red letters.…

  • “You are a Samaritan and you have a demon” – reflections on other-ing, compassion, and discernment

    The [religious leaders] answered and said to [Jesus], “Do we not speak well that you are a Samaritan and you have a demon?” -John 8:48 (my translation) Sometimes when I’m translating New Testament passages from Greek, a phrase jumps out at me like I’ve never really seen it before, even though I’m sure I’ve read…

  • How (Not) to Lay Down One’s Life: A short sermon on John 10:11-18

    (11) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd places his life on behalf of the sheep. (12) The wage-worker, even, who is not the shepherd, of whom the sheep are not (his) own, beholds the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees – and the wolf seizes them and scatters (them) – (13)…

  • I Must Decrease…Or Must I? (Part 3 of 3)

    After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. Now a discussion about…

  • I Must Decrease…Or Must I? (Part 2 of 3)

    After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. Now a discussion about…

  • I Must Decrease…Or Must I? (Part 1 of 3)

    Finally moving on from Matthew 3! Here’s a story about John the Baptist from the book written by another dude whose name was also John: After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because…