I Hate You

Luke 14:25-33 – The 16th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, September 4, 2016

“Whoever comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and brothers and sisters—yes, even one’s own life—cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

i-hate-you-imageThere is my voice . . .

I hate you! Hear me as a seven-year old kid yelling at my older sister because she did or didn’t do something that seemed unfair.

I hate you! Hear my anguished thoughts about my soon-to-be-former wife (who I no longer loved, honored, or obeyed) as I staggered through a divorce in my mid-twenties.

There are other voices . . .

I hate you! Hear the malicious anger of a white male in 21st century America who is convinced a woman or person of color or gay man received preferential treatment for a new job and/or a raise.

I hate you! Hear the Trump supporter belittle Clinton. Hear the Clinton supporter demean Trump. Hear or read the regular, relentless, roiling, raging voices streaming through flat screen televisions and high-tech phones and tablets, as 24/7 attacks are unleashed on “the other.”

Are you a Christian?

I am.

Oh how I (try, try, try to) follow Jesus. Continue reading →

Occasions for Hope

Matthew 4:12-23  – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – for Sunday, January 26, 2014

“’Follow me, and I will make you fish for people…’” (Matthew 4:19)

Pepperidge GoldfishMy wife, loving life partner that she is, does laundry.

I, her self-sacrificing spouse, shop for groceries. I am so thankful she handles the cold-water-only and take-it-to-the-dry-cleaner decisions. Apparently she is equally grateful that I, like a primeval hunter-gatherer, wander supermarkets for our daily bread.

We each have our tasks.

The other day, my task meant I saw a kid, tucked inside a shopping cart with the milk and lettuce, head for the checkout as his Mom steered the cart. The kid’s hand pawed inside an open bag of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers.

Maybe three or four, he was seriously fishing. His Mom was smiling. The clerk was making small talk as he scanned items. I was next in line like a plane waiting to land. I understood what was happening. There have been times, with a cold drink on a hot day, when I handed an empty container to the check-out guy. Yep, scan it, let me pay for it, and then, please, recycle it immediately. I had to have it then.

It was time to scan the cheesy, fish-shaped crackers.

No way. The kid hunkered low in the cart, a bear in a cave, a cat in a corner. There was more to eat. No one was getting his fish.

I smiled. The clerk smiled. Mom wasn’t smiling anymore. Continue reading →