Money isn’t Real

One of my common refrains goes something like this: “Money isn’t real! It’s all made up and imaginary!”

In point of fact, this is true to an extent. The United States and most other nations abandoned the gold standard over the course of the 20th century, severing money from any sort of physical or material value. With the advent of the computer age, even coins and paper money are becoming obsolete. Money, for all intents and purposes, is a fantasy that floats around inside of electronic brains.

Practically, however, I recognize that money holds very real power. Humans everywhere spend their lives in pursuit of making enough money just to survive. Some few manage to hold onto enough to “thrive.” A very select few are so enormously wealthy, and control so many other forms of power, that money quite literally becomes value-less to them. Whereas I might do any number of things if offered a million dollars, someone like Warren Buffett is actively working to give billions away. Read more

Recognizing the Signs

First Sunday in Advent
Luke 21:25-36
As a nine-year-old boy, I once lost sleep for a month because of one terrible thought:

“What if Heaven, as great and amazing as I’m sure it will be, eventually becomes boring?” Read more

Taking Scripture Seriously

Second Sunday After Pentecost
Mark 2:23-3:6

Is Scripture the whip of the oppressor or the hope of the oppressed?

At my church, Holy Family, we talk a lot about the difference between taking Scripture literally versus taking it seriously. Sometimes to take Scripture seriously, we must read it literally. And sometimes, reading Scripture literally is a failure on our part to take it seriously. Read more

Wrestling with Assumptions

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Matthew 22:34-46
When I first read the texts for this week, I began salivating at the opportunity to hit on all cylinders of my social justice values, liberation theologies, and “preferential option for the poor” interpretations. So I was gleefully typing away at my manifesto when suddenly this week’s text from Leviticus stopped me cold. Particularly verse 15 where it says, “you shall not be partial to the poor.” In that moment I had to stop and wrestle, once again, with who I claim God to be. Read more